Spot rates stabilized in May, with small gains for van, reefer

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Updated Jun 6, 2019
(Rates data from data from

Dry van rates on the spot market in May gained three cents from April nationally, while reefer gains gained a penny, according to data from Flatbed rates, however, fell three cents in the month.

The drop for flatbed was outside seasonal norms, as the segment’s rate average generally climbs between March and June, with warmer weather prompting more demand for flatbed and, thus, stronger per-mile rates.

Though all three segments were down significantly from a white hot May 2018, they were well up from May 2017. And despite a descent in recent months, rates seemingly have plateaued with the onset of spring.

Flatbed in May averaged $2.37 a mile, according to That’s down 38 cents from last May, but up 30 cents from May 2017.

Van rates averaged $2.12 in May, down 40 cents from last May but up 20 cents from the May prior.

Lastly, reefer rates averaged $2.33 a mile in the month, down 48 cents from last May but up 26 cents from May 2017.