Rate Trend of the Week - Van You're Up, You're Up


National average rates for vans are up $0.04 since the end of April. But in our weekly survey of 64 major lanes, 33 rates declined and only 26 increased. The remaining lanes were neutral, week over week.

What's Hot - Three van markets improved significantly last week -- Memphis, Los Angeles and Stockton -- and scattered lanes trended up sharply, including:

- Atlanta to Memphis, up 18%

- New Orleans to Dallas, up 15%

- Los Angeles to Denver, up 11%

- Salt Lake City to Stockton, up 17%

What's Not - Declining markets included Dallas and Denver. Of the lanes with declining rates, only two moved down by double digits, and the biggest rate drops hit lanes heading into Chicago. We'll keep an eye on outbound rates from the Windy City, for emerging trends:

- Minneapolis to Chicago, down 16%

- Philadelphia to Chicago, down 13% (to only $1.04 per mile, including fuel.-- the lowest average rate in a major lane last week)

- Atlanta to Chicago, down 9.0%


Rates for flatbeds have been climbing steadily for the past four weeks, with a similar pattern to the one we saw at this time last year. In the top 76 flatbed lanes last week, 46 rates increased and 29 declined.

What's Hot - The best rates for long hauls originated in Atlanta and Raleigh, with both markets paying over $2.50 per mile. Average rates from Memphis hit $3.00, and Harrisburg topped that, at $3.60 for short haul traffic. The award for "most improved" goes to Phoenix, where rates rose 15%. Don't go trading in all your van trailers just yet, though. Some flatbed carriers tell me that their mileage can be pretty low on some of these heavy hauls, and flatbed drivers need special expertise in securing loads, so so extra costs can soak up a lot of that "extra" revenue.

What's Not - Tampa had the lowest outbound rate of the major flatbed markets, at $1.65 per mile. Reno was down to $1.74.

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