Summer Freight Forecast: Rates and Ripe Routes

Here's the latest on freight rates and hot routes as we look forward to Q3. Get insights from experts on navigating the summer season.

Summer Freight Forecast: Rates and Ripe Routes

As summer rolls in, you've got to stay on top of what's moving where in the freight world. Here’s a reminder of what you need to watch (from Kay Jablonski, Trucker Tools CEO):

  • Southern States: Produce season is buzzing. Heavy equipment flows in for upcoming projects.
  • Central Plains & Lower Midwest: Barley and wheat shipments increase. More heavy equipment ships out.
  • Upper Midwest: Heavy loads travel freely post-frost restrictions.
  • California: Fresh produce and fireworks ship out for July 4 celebrations.
  • Texas: Beef shipments rise with BBQ season.
  • Nationwide: Household goods and recreational items cross the states.

Hot Spots in Freight Lanes


Among the fireworks and BBQs, July is also a prime time for freight, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Jablonski fills us in on why this month is a big deal:

  • Produce Peaks: As temperatures climb, produce shipping moves northward.
  • Holiday Hype: Early July spikes with Independence Day preparations boosting freight demand and rates.

Rate Check-in with Kevin Hill

Source: Kevin Hill With Farelanes/LinkedIn

Now, let's talk numbers. Kevin Hill’s breakdown from Farelanes LLC shows:

  • Red Rates: Year-over-year, most trailer modes haven’t caught up with 2023, still lingering in the red.
  • Freight Market Fumbles: Even minus fuel costs, we're not yet out of the woods.

Hill revealed the consensus at a recent panel at the Broker Carrier Summit was that we're nudging up to a possible upturn, but "the floor may be more like a bowling lane alley rather than a basketball."

What’s Next?

As the freight heats up for summer, prepare for a mixed bag. With the rates taking a slight dip, it's going to be a season of smart moves. Get your plans rolling, stay alert to the lanes that light up, and maybe, just maybe, we'll all strike big as we navigate through the season's shifts.

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