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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – April 2019

April 24, 2019

Spring is in full bloom around the country and the Easter holiday had an adverse effect on the freight market. Truck demand peaked early in the week, and rates dropped as the holiday week came to a close.

April 2019 Freight Rates

Apr 15-21 vs Apr 08-Apr 14 Mar 2019 vs Feb 2019 Mar 2019 vs Mar 2018
Spot Market Loads -13.4% +8.7% -54.7%
Spot Market Capacity +0.3% +16.1% +36.1%
Van Load-To-Truck +4.9% -22.4% -63.3%
Van Rates (Spot) +1.3% -1.8% -13.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck -27.6% -1.8% -13.6%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.2% +0.3% -7.7%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +6.0% -21.1% -63.2%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +2.3% -1.9% -9.7%
Fuel Prices +0.8% +2.6% +2.9%


According to, national van rate averages are at $1.82 per mile, 3 cents lower than the March average. The Northeast has the lowest van rates at an average of $1.64 per mile, and the Midwest is highest with an average of $2.04 per mile. DAT reports vans rates are highest in the Los Angeles and Denver markets. Demand for trucks was the weakest in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest.

Load-to-truck ratios are highest in the south-central part of the country, and lowest in the upper Midwest.

Reefer freight rates are still lagging behind last year’s numbers. DAT reports the national average reefer rate is at $2.15 per mile, a drop of 2 cents over the March average. Reefer rates are lowest in the Northeast averaging $1.92 per mile, and highest in the upper Midwest, with an average of $2.44 per mile. Current load-to-truck capacity is highest in the northern Rockies and lowest in the Great Lakes region.

National average flatbed rates are at $2.34 per mile, the same as in March. The highest average rates are in the Midwest at $2.63 per mile, and the lowest is on the west coast, at an average of $2.06 per mile. The strongest load-to-truck ratios are in the Midwest and east coast areas.

The latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $3.15 per gallon. Regional diesel prices range from an average of $2.92 in the gulf coast states to $3.37 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $4.00 per gallon.

One of the biggest concerns facing many fleet operators right now is the shortage of drivers. For information on how to recruit and retain drivers in today’s market, visit the trucking blog at and search “drivers”. Some recent articles include Recruiting Truck Drivers by Going Outside the Box, and Recruiting and Keeping Drivers.

For more information on current freight trends, as well as up-to-date news about the trucking industry, visit the trucking news and information page.

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Current freight trends

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