Congress is expected to pass at $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill later today, which is likely to trigger a surge in consumer spending and freight volumes in the coming weeks and days. Truck capacity is already in high demand, as vaccine distribution increases and some states are in the process of relaxing their pandemic stay at home orders. 

In today’s edition of Trucker Tools’ “Where’s the Freight?” once again, three of the five markets that are expected to be the most profitable in the coming week are flatbed markets. Flatbed markets have been the slowest to rebound from the initial COVID-19 outbreak, but look strong for the immediate future. In the next five to seven days, we also expect to see some power only markets in the South and Midwest gain momentum and for demand and rates to surge in those areas.  

Read on to find out what other markets are projected to be hot (and cold) for truckers and carriers over the next week. 

Where Demand Is High, Heating Up

  • You can expect Southwest Ontario (Canada), Rapid City, S.D., and Portland, Ore., to be three of hottest flatbed markets in the nation over the course of the next week. Demand for flatbed in and out of Lubbock, Texas, is projected to increase this week.
  • Tucson, Ariz., will remain the top reefer market in the country for truckers this week. Demand for reefer capacity will increase this week in and out of Minot, N.D.
  • Demand for power only in and out of Ft. Wayne, Ind., will be high over the next week. We’ll also see demand and rates rise in the coming week for Columbus, Ohio, Jacksonville, Fla., and Jackson, Miss.

Where Demand Is Low, Cooling Off

  • Demand for flatbed will be low this week in and out of Washington D.C. Flatbed demand will be declining in the coming week for Springfield, Mass., and Medford, Ore.
  • Reefer demand will be low this week in and out of Hartford, Conn., and Rapid City, S.D. 
  • Expect demand and rates for dry van capacity to be low over the next five to seven day period inbound to and outbound from Dodge City, Kan.
  • Washington D.C. also will be one of the coldest power only markets in the country over the next week. Demand for power only will be falling this week for Hartford, Conn.

Trucker Tools’ Market Insights

  • Based on today’s data, the five hottest markets for truckers this week will be: 1. Southwest Ontario (flatbed), 2. Rapid City, S.D. (flatbed), 3. Tucson, Ariz. (reefer), 4. Portland, Ore. (flatbed) and 5. Ft. Wayne, Ind. (power only).
  • The five coldest markets for truckers in the coming week will be: 1. Washington D.C. (power only), 2. Dodge City, Kan. (dry van), 3. Hartford, Conn. (reefer), 4. Washington D.C. (flatbed) and 5. Rapid City, S.D. (reefer).
  • Demand for flatbed capacity in and out Rapid City, S.D., is approximately three times higher than it was at this time last year. 
  • In the coming week, the Columbus, Ohio, power only market will favor carriers by a ratio of more than three to one.
  • Demand for dry van capacity in and out of Dodge City, Kan., is 50 percent lower than it was at this time last year. 

Insights from FreightWaves

We’ve teamed up with FreightWaves to provide you with information on national trends and insights on some of the most popular lanes in North America. In today’s Daily Watch, FreightWaves reports that February’s winter storms have increased national outbound long-haul tender rejections by five percent. On-demand capacity is particularly tight for Cedar Rapids, Fayetteville, Little Rock, Des Moines and Pendleton.

If you haul dry van, you may want to target the Los Angeles to Atlanta lane on the spot market this week, as long-haul capacity is tightening and volumes are up in this lane. It’s also a good idea to accept tendered loads for Chicago to Elizabeth, N.J., in the coming week since there are large volumes of freight are coming out of New York and New Jersey — and because capacity is tight outbound from Elizabeth. For the Ontario to Allentown lane, you can expect high margins on the reefer side of things, but expect lower rates for dry van on the spot market, though port congestion could change this in the near future. 

Read Where’s the Freight? Texarkana, Rapid City, Portland, Tucson and Southwest Ontario Five Hottest Markets for Truckers/Carriers This Week for more information on hot and cold markets. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/