Happy February, truckers! In today’s Trucker Tools Market Index Report, we see that demand for trucks remains elevated for this time of year across many parts of the country. Freight volumes at both East Coast and West Coast ports continue to trend up, which is impacting demand and rates on both coasts. A Nor’easter is bringing heavy snow and wind gusts to the Northeast today and tomorrow, which is likely to cause delays along I-95. High winds may impact ports on the East Coast and air freight, as well. Stay safe, everyone!

Hot Markets 

  • Lexington, Ky., and Jonesboro, Ark., will continue to be two of the best markets for flatbed over the next week. Also expect demand for flatbed rise this week for Cheyenne, Wyo., Buffalo, N.Y., and Southwest Ontario (Canada).
  • Tucson, Ariz., will remain the best reefer market in the country for truckers in the coming week. 
  • Jacksonville, Fla., and Austin, Texas, will be two of the hottest markets in the country for power only this week. Power only demand/rates will be rising over the next five to seven days for Macon, Ga., and Fresno, Calif., as well.

Cool Markets 

  • Expect Duluth, Minn., to be one of the coldest flatbed markets for truckers in the coming week. Demand for flatbed will fall this week for Rapid City, S.D.
  • Hartford, Conn., and Vancouver, B.C. (Canada), will be two of the coldest markets for reefer this week. 
  • Demand for power only will be low this week for Decatur, Ala. You also can expectpower onlydemand/rates to fall in the coming week for Charleston, S.C.

Trucker Tools’ Market Insights

  • Hartford, Conn., has been one of the coldest reefer markets in the country for the last seven weeks in a row. 
  • Demand for power only in and out of Austin, Texas, is more than five times higher than it was at this time last year.
  • Employment has increased in the manufacturing sector in Buffalo, N.Y., which may explain why it continues to be one of the hottest flatbed markets in the nation for truckers.
  • After suspending their Buffalo, N.Y., manufacturing operations for portions of 2020 because of the pandemic, General Motors and Ford have resumed production and are busy restocking inventories at local dealerships.

FreightWaves SONAR Market Insights

We’ve partnered with FreightWaves to provide you with additional insights into hot and cold markets in the coming week. Expect national reefer rejections rates to continue to decline this week. Despite decreasing reefer demand in many areas, demand for reefer capacity will be high for Toledo, Indianapolis, Houston, Austin, Fort Wayne and Cedar Rapids. FreightWaves also is reporting that one out of every three Knoxville to Cleveland loads is being rejected. It’s recommended that you cover this lane with higher spot market rates. 

FreightWaves SONAR’s Hot Lanes for Truckers

With strong demand for reefer and dry van capacity in the Houston market, FreightWaves’ Daily Outlook advises drivers and carriers who normally run Dallas to Houston to shift their trucks from the Dallas market to Houston. If you do run out of Houston, consider taking loads into Toledo, Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, where demand for reefer also is high. For Elizabeth to Dallas, it’s recommended that you stay firm on your rates and if outbound rejections continue to rise for this lane, consider increasing your rates in the coming week. 

For more on which markets will be hot and cold in the coming week, read Trucker Tools’ previous Market Index Report, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Wilmington and Grand Junction Hot Markets for Truckers in the Next Five to Seven Days. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/