Truck rates for some shipments are hitting all-time highs, for a number of reasons, including scarcity of drivers to haul product coming from Mexico. ( Photo by Daniel Vanderhorst )

Responding to big demand, monthly average truck rates for refrigerated freight climbed again in December to reach an all-time high, according to the DAT Freight Index.

The monthly national averages for both dry and refrigerated (“reefer”) van rates were the highest of 2017, according to the index.

Spot truckload van rates averaged $2.11 per mile nationally, up 4 cents compared to November and the highest monthly average since DAT started tracking freight rates in 2010, according to the release.

The average reefer rate for December was $2.46 per mile, 3 cents higher than the November average and another all-time high, according to the release.

The availability of truckload freight in December was bolstered by retail shipments, demand for fresh and frozen foods, and e-commerce fulfillment, according to the release. Available truckload freight was 25% higher than in December 2016.

However, overall freight volume in December fell 3% compared to a strong November, according to the release. Some of the factors in that decline were inclement weather in parts of the U.S and the Dec. 18 electronic logging device mandate. That combination of strains on equipment and drivers meant that shippers and freight brokers paid premiums for available trucks, according to the release.

 

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