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Weekly Freight Market Update: Why Did The Reefer Cross The Road?

Industry InsightsPublished on May 4, 2019

Reefer tender rejection rates out of Little Rock, Arkansas have been elevated as high as 45% over the past week due in large part to poultry transportation.

While poultry harvest rates are fairly stable year-round, the beginning of May marks the start of retail poultry sales. Of the 29,200 retail outlets used for USDA reporting, 69% are running specials on chicken this week, up from 62.8% last week.

Cold-Storage Chicken Grows Shipping Demand

This means many of the chickens that have been harvested and frozen in a recently-expanded Little Rock cold storage facility are set to hit a supermarket freezer near you. Just one facility used by Tyson has frozen capacity nearing 2,900 truckloads, so as long as there is demand, supply should not be far behind.

As these seasonal markets tighten, carriers and shippers should be aware of increased facility times and fluctuating rates.

Tender Rejection Rates Decrease as Volume Increases

This week, tender rejection rates decreased 50 basis points even as there was a 4.6% increase in volume.

What were the regional trends contributing to those numbers?

Overall, effects of produce season have not been as prominent as expected. National produce volume is down 3.7% year over year.

Onion Produce Signals Changes to Shipment Pricing and Tender Acceptance Rates

In the Southeast, onion shipments are down 30% from last year signaling that the growing season will not be as strong as previous years. While, in the Midwest, capacity remains abundant especially for southbound loads as carriers look to move their trucks into position for higher paying shipments. Further west, changes in tender rejection rates have been minimal in southern California. The South Central is one region where freight RFPs are experiencing some market tightening. Houston shows signs of increased freight with a 19% week over week volume increase.


Convoy Team

Convoy is the nation's leading digital freight network. We move thousands of truckloads around the country each day through our optimized, connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers, increasing earnings for drivers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet. We use technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency in the $800B trucking industry, which generates over 87 million metric tons of wasted CO2 emissions from empty trucks. Fortune 500 shippers like Anheuser-Busch, P&G, Niagara, and Unilever trust Convoy to lower costs, increase logistics efficiency, and achieve environmental sustainability targets.
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