Your Monthly Industry Recap

Your Monthly Industry Recap, shipping logistics

Each month our industry experts gather the top trends you should watch for in the shipping and logistics industry. Bookmark this page to check back each month for additional up-to-date information, monthly recaps and forecasts.

September Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: Dry van spot rates increased by 19.2% over September 2020, while the van load-to-truck ratio increased 15.9%.

Capacity: Overall, dry van capacity has remained stable. As the holiday season and peak shipping season approaches, a tightening of capacity is anticipated. Currently there are capacity challenges due to high demand in Southern California, Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Rates: Flatbed spot rates increased by 27.9% over last year’s rates and the load-to-truck ratio increased by 19%. The flatbed market has seen more activity over the last few weeks than historical performance during this time of year.

Capacity: Flatbed capacity has tightened even more than last month, showcasing an increase in activity in the industrial economy.


Rates: In September, reefer spot rates increased by 25.9% over September 2020 rates and the load-to-truck ratio increased by 39.4%.

Capacity: Out of all load types, reefers are currently experiencing the tightest capacity nationwide. As the first snowfalls occur across the country, an increase in demand is expected to cause additional challenges.

Looking Ahead

In October and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  •  Holiday season is always the peak season of shipping; prepare for higher rates and possible delays
  •  Snow is beginning to fall across the country and could cause transit disruptions, make sure drivers are prepared for inclement weather
  • Port congestion is an ongoing problem and will almost certainly get worse as product demand increases with holiday shopping

Bookmark this page and check back in November for October’s recap and more insight from Ryan Transportation industry experts. Contact us today to take your shipping operations to the next level.

August Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: The monthly national average spot rates for dry van freight set another record in August at an increase of 23.9% over last year’s rates.

Capacity: The Northeast has continued to experience tight conditions; eastern Pennsylvania and New York have been dealing with capacity challenges. The upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest also appear to be tightening faster than typical for the usual fourth quarter market cycle. The load-to-truck ratio for dry vans increased by 21.6% from 2020.


Rates: Flatbed rates were increasing through the first half of August and then seemed to level out leading up to Labor Day weekend. Data shows that rates were relatively flat for August 2021 vs. July 2021 but increased by 33.8% over 2020 rates.

Capacity: Flatbed capacity is still tight nationwide with load-to-truck ratios still imbalanced for most of the country, with a load-to-truck ratio 40.1% higher than last year.


Rates: August proved challenging for many shippers as reefer rates increased on a national level by more than 29% over last year.

Capacity: The reefer load-to-truck ratio increased by 60% over 2020 numbers. Produce season is beginning to come to an end, but there will be heightened demand in the upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest in the coming months due to turkey season and colder temperatures approaching.

Looking Ahead

In September and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  • Short mileage load tender acceptance is decreasing; day rates seem to be at all-time highs. 
  • Same-day loads and shorter mileage “weekend runs” continue to get increasingly expensive.  Efficient load planning is becoming more important each day.
  • The market is potentially facing major disruption from Hurricane Ida. FEMA freight will be hitting the market and taking capacity as needed. More will be known about the impact in the coming weeks as relief efforts have just begun.

Check back in October for September's recap and more insights from Ryan Transportation industry experts.

Contact us today to take your shipping operations to the next level.