Load-to-Truck Ratio Sets New Record for Vans

The ELD mandate went into effect last week, and based on comments from across the trucking industry, the new regulations have been disruptive for a lot of carriers. A lot of truckers also took time off before Christmas, which led to even tighter capacity on the spot market last week. Plus, there were way more loads than usual, including last-minute holiday gifts and food. As a result, the load-to-truck ratio for vans hit the highest mark ever at 10.1 loads per truck.

Rates also rose to near-record levels. Shippers and brokers had a harder time finding trucks, so they paid more to get vans in nearly every major market last week. A whopping 82 of the top 100 van lanes had higher rates last week, which is also probably a record. Rates peaked in pretty much every market except Chicago and a couple of California locations, where rates didn’t hit the highs of the pre-Thanksgiving rush.

The Hot States Map up above shows just how tight the spot market was last week. The run-up to Christmas put extra pressure on the eastern side of the country, although parts of the Midwest and Northeast were quiet on Friday, as some businesses closed early for the holiday. Dallas actually had the sharpest gains overall, with outbound rates up 7% on average. Atlanta, Allentown, PA; Columbus, OH; and Philadelphia also posted big increases.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


  • Van rates on the lane from Columbus to Allentown shot up 30¢ to an average of $3.87/mile
  • Allentown to Richmond, VA, rose 38¢ at $2.91/mile
  • Atlanta to Philadelphia was up 33¢ at $2.61/mile
  • We don’t normally see big changes on the lane rate from Charlotte to Chicago, but that one rose 28¢ last week to $1.78/mile

A couple of big increases on the West Coast:

  • Seattle to Salt Lake City rebounded 29¢ to $2.40/mile
  • Stockton, CA, to Denver also rose 25¢ to $2.88/mile


Seattle was the only market where the average outbound rate declined last week. Still, the average rate there was 50¢ higher than Denver.

Otherwise, there weren’t too many significant drops on a lane-by-lane basis last week:

  • Seattle to Eugene, OR lost 19¢ to $2.84/mile
  • Columbus to Memphis adjusted down, since demand was higher going the other way – that lane dropped 15¢ to an average of $2.03/mile

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in DAT load boards, including rates from DAT RateView.

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