Freight rate of sprinter, flatbed, dry van, reefer loads.

7 min read
Freight rate of sprinter, flatbed, dry van, reefer loads.

The latest data from's Trendlines Report, as of March 10th, unveils intriguing trends in van, reefer, and flatbed freight rates across the nation. Let's delve into the figures and uncover the nuances shaping the transportation industry.

Van Freight Rates

Van freight rates are currently averaging $2.01 per mile nationally, marking a modest decrease of ¢5 from the previous month's average. Regionally, the Midwest boasts the highest average rates, standing at $2.28 per mile, while the East Coast registers the lowest at $1.89 per mile. The load-to-truck ratio nationally sits at 2.74, slightly lower than February's 2.82, with the East Coast states leading in ratios and the North and West Coast states trailing behind.

Reefer Freight Rates

Reefer freight rates are averaging $2.33 per mile nationally, showing a decline of ¢9 compared to February. The Midwest again leads with the highest rates at $2.71 per mile, whereas the Northeast records the lowest at $2.15 per mile. National reefer capacity stands at 4.54 loads-to-truck, up from February's 4.44. Southern states exhibit the highest demand, while the Midwest states demonstrate the lowest load-to-truck ratios.

Flatbed Freight Rates

National average flatbed rates currently stand at $2.49 per mile, marking a slight increase of ¢1 compared to February. The Midwest tops the charts with average rates hitting $2.72 per mile, while the West reports the lowest at $2.18 per mile. Nationally, load-to-truck ratios surge to 16.93 from February's 13.65, with the Southeast leading in load ratios and the Southwest lagging behind.

Sprinter Load Rates

As per the latest data from's Trendlines Report dated March 27th, 2024, the prevailing national rate for Sprinter Loads stands firm at $1.00 per mile. This rate remains unchanged from the previous month.

In line with DAT's findings, the highest average Sprinter Load rates are observed in the Midwest, holding steady at $1.10 per mile. Conversely, the East Coast maintains the lowest average Sprinter Load rates at $0.95 per mile.

Box Truck Freight Rates

According to's latest Trendlines Report dated March 27th, 2024, the national average rate for Box Truck freight currently stands at $2 per mile. This rate remains consistent compared to the previous month's data.

DAT's analysis reveals that the Midwest region boasts the highest average Box Truck rates, maintaining at $1.90 per mile. Conversely, the East Coast retains the lowest average rates for Box Truck freight, standing at $1.80 per mile.

How to get the best trucking freight rates?

Earning the best trucking freight rates involves a combination of strategy, negotiation skills, industry knowledge, and leveraging available tools and resources. Here are some steps to help you earn the best trucking freight rates:

  1. Market Research: Stay informed about current market trends, supply and demand dynamics, and fluctuations in fuel prices. Understanding the market conditions will help you negotiate better rates.

  2. Build Relationships: Develop strong relationships with shippers, brokers, and carriers. Establishing trust and reliability can lead to better rates and more consistent business opportunities.

  3. Utilize Technology: Use freight matching platforms, load boards, and transportation management systems (TMS) to access available loads and streamline the booking process. These tools can help you find profitable freight opportunities and reduce empty miles.

  4. Optimize Operations: Increase efficiency by optimizing routes, reducing idle time, and maximizing load capacity. Efficient operations can lower costs and increase profit margins, allowing you to negotiate better rates.

  5. Offer Value-added Services: Provide additional services such as expedited delivery, specialized handling, or tracking capabilities to differentiate yourself from competitors and justify higher rates.

  6. Negotiate Effectively: Hone your negotiation skills and be prepared to negotiate rates with shippers and brokers. Highlight your strengths, such as reliability, safety record, and on-time delivery performance, to justify your pricing.

  7. Monitor Expenses: Keep track of operating costs, including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and equipment expenses. Understanding your cost structure will help you determine your bottom line and set competitive rates.

  8. Diversify Your Customer Base: Avoid over-reliance on a single customer or industry. Diversifying your customer base can help mitigate risk and provide access to a variety of freight opportunities with different rate structures.

  9. Stay Flexible: Be willing to adapt to changing market conditions and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly. Flexibility can help you capitalize on emerging opportunities and maintain competitiveness.

  10. Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate your processes, performance, and pricing strategies to identify areas for improvement. Continuously investing in your business and refining your approach will help you stay ahead in the competitive trucking industry.

Cost Per Mile

The Cost Per Mile (CPM) is a crucial metric used in the trucking industry to assess the profitability of each mile driven. Several key components contribute to the calculation of CPM:

  1. Fuel Costs: This includes expenses related to diesel or gasoline purchases, as well as any fuel taxes or surcharges. Fuel costs are typically one of the largest expenses for trucking operations and can fluctuate based on fuel prices and vehicle efficiency.

  2. Vehicle Maintenance: This encompasses expenses associated with maintaining and repairing the truck and trailer, such as oil changes, tire replacements, engine repairs, and general upkeep. Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring safety and minimizing unexpected breakdowns.

  3. Insurance Premiums: Trucking companies must carry various types of insurance, including liability insurance, cargo insurance, and physical damage insurance. Insurance premiums can vary depending on factors such as the carrier's safety record, coverage limits, and the types of cargo transported.

  4. Driver Wages and Benefits: This includes salaries, wages, and benefits paid to drivers, such as health insurance, retirement contributions, and bonuses. Driver compensation is a significant cost for trucking companies and can vary based on factors such as experience, driving performance, and industry demand.

  5. Tolls and Permits: Tolls for using toll roads and bridges, as well as permits required for operating in certain states or regions, contribute to the overall cost per mile. These expenses can vary depending on the routes taken and the jurisdictions traversed.

  6. Depreciation: Depreciation reflects the decrease in value of the truck and trailer over time due to wear and tear, age, and usage. Calculating depreciation accurately is essential for accounting purposes and determining the true cost of owning and operating the equipment.

  7. Lease or Financing Payments: If the truck or trailer is leased or financed, the monthly lease or loan payments contribute to the cost per mile. These payments reflect the cost of acquiring the equipment and may include interest charges.

  8. Overhead and Administrative Costs: This includes expenses such as office rent, utilities, administrative staff salaries, and other overhead costs associated with running the trucking business. While not directly tied to miles driven, these expenses are allocated to each mile to determine overall profitability.

  9. Miscellaneous Expenses: Various other costs may contribute to the overall cost per mile, including permits, taxes, licensing fees, communication expenses, and parking fees.

By analyzing and understanding these key components of cost per mile, trucking companies can make informed decisions regarding pricing, route planning, and operational efficiency to optimize profitability.