Don't Get Buffaloed

We are publishing regional highlights of the weekly van rate trend as part of a new feature, DAT Truckload Trends, which is updated on Wednesdays. To my mind, that feature complements the national averages and lane-specific trends found on the DAT Trendlines Rate Trend of the Week. You can look at van rates for an individual region, or view them by equipment type all over the country. I’d be interested in your feedback, so please take a look and post your comments below.

To bolster the new reports, I added 11 new lanes to my weekly update, brining the total to 75. I can now report on trends for two more markets, Buffalo and Seattle, in addition to the original ten. As it happens, rates declined 5% (to $1.64 per mile) in Buffalo and rose 5% (to $1.50 per mile) in Seattle, but neither of those average rates would be considered profitable for the carrier.

On the other hand, neither of the two cities shows up in the list of the five worst round-trip rates this week, either. Los Angeles features prominently in that list, as did Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. Here they are, the five lowest-priced round-trips for long-haul van freight, in the week ending September 22:

5. Chicago to Atlanta to Chicago – round-trip average $1.58 per mile including fuel, down 3% last week

4. Los Angeles to Dallas to Los Angeles – $1.52, up 1%

3. Atlanta to Dallas to Atlanta – average $1.52, down 2% (Try this: Look for a load from Dallas to Jackson, MS and another from Jackson to Atlanta, to get paid $444 more for the same mileage.)

2. Chicago to Los Angeles to Chicago – $1.49, up 6%

And the number one worst round-trip spot market rate last week was (drumroll, please)…..

1. Atlanta to Los Angeles to Atlanta – $1.45, up 1%

It’s only fair to give you the five best rates, too. You’ll see different cities represented here, including Philadelphia and Columbus, but Chicago and Atlanta have some high-priced lanes as well. The length of haul is much shorter between these city pairs, contributing to the improved rate per mile:

5. Philadelphia to Columbus to Philadelphia – round-trip average $2.02 per mile including fuel, down 5% last week

4. Chicago to Columbus to Chicago – $2.08, up 6%

3. Dallas to Houston to Dallas – $2.13, up 1%

2. Atlanta to Charlotte to Atlanta – $2.14, unchanged

And — to compensate for traffic and tolls — last week’s highest-paying round-trip was, as usual…..

1. Philadelphia to Boston to Philadelphia – $2.49, down 9%