Freight Costs continue to drop in 2023

Over the past year imports from overseas and the domestic movement of consumer goods continue to decline. This affects the cost of hiring trucks and trailers. Most goods move in containers from overseas and unheated trailers (dry vans) for domestic truck-only shipments. Temperature-sensitive goods such as food is moved in a refrigerated trailer (reefer).

According to Tread Logistics, a full-scale third-party logistics supplier:

  • US dry van rates continue to fall through February and are averaging US $1.80 per mile, down US $0.91 year over year
  • US reefer rates also continue to drop, averaging US $2.10 per mile or US $0.10 higher than 2019
    • Some of the weakness in reefer rates is a 33 percent year-over-year decline in the volume of fresh produce from Florida, Texas and California 

Cost for moving goods across oceans:

  • The Drewry World Container Index for Trans Pacific (Los Angeles to Shanghai) averaged US $1,137 last week.
    • This price is holding steady as the proportion of empty containers versus full containers moving from North America to Asia continues to decline.
  • Drewry’s Trans Atlantic Index (New York to Rotterdam) average spot container rates were US $1,195 last week. This 20 percent of the cost of a Rotterdam to New York transit

Freight costs are dynamic and may change based upon demand, fuel costs and political or economic conditions. The costs disclosed do not include related insurance, brokerage, tariff, port, demurrage and lading fees.

For more information and resources:

Freight Waves – a free media and data provider focused on the global freight market and global supply chain
Drewry – an independent provider of research, data and consulting services to the maritime and global shipping industry

Author: Phil Dick, Economic and Business Advisor – OMAFRA


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