Trends in the freight market have continued over the past seven weeks, with spot market rates staying relatively low. This was to be expected with the July slowdown. Smaller companies have felt the brunt of this market fluctuation due to higher operating costs and lower buying power. Just this past week we have observed a potential turnaround with volume and demand on its way back up, both in the reefer and dry freight sectors.
Refrigerated freight has leveled off from its recent decline. When searching for the produce hubs there are a couple areas to focus on. Michigan has been shipping cucumbers and squashes for a couple weeks now and should be nearing its busy season. Melons are in high demand in the greater Delaware area as well as the southern regions of Illinois and Indiana. Expect to see the continued slowdown of California produce. Steer clear of the Mexican border crossings and the Pacific Northwest as produce is very light.
Look for the Upper Midwest markets to tighten in the upcoming weeks as produce gets into full swing. Washington apples will be starting in the next few weeks as well.
Dry freight has also leveled off from the recent July lull. Demands have recently climbed in most hubs. Toward the end of this past week we have seen an uptick in rates, especially in the afternoon hours. Regions of higher freight densities include Virginia, the Carolinas, western Kentucky, the Upper Midwest, and the Northeast. Keep in mind while freight densities in the Northeast are higher, rates are not as desirable for outbound freight.
Diesel's downward trend continues for the ninth consecutive week. Another 5.9 cent drop brings the national average price to $2.723 per gallon. This marks a $1.135 drop for the same week last year.
-U.S. Energy Information Administration, Independent Statistics & Analysis http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/ 08/01/15
-United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, Market News https://www.marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/ 08/01/15