Freight Rates Dip while Load Availability Climbs

Freight volume increased slightly for vans on the spot market last week, but truckload capacity increased more, so the national average load-to-truck ratio edged down from 1.9 to 1.8 loads per truck on DAT Load Boards. Freight availability declined most sharply in the Midwest and California, but a few individual markets offered a lot of loads and trucks were scarce, creating opportunities for small fleets. Look for loads in Buffalo, NY; Harrisburg and Erie, PA; Baltimore, MD; Roanoke and Winchester, VA; and Evansville, IN.

Other states, such as South Dakota and Vermont, show as dark red in this Hot States Map from August 9-15, meaning that they had high load-to-truck ratios. They had relatively few loads though, so check outbound freight before taking a load into those states. Daily maps, along with detailed information on demand, capacity and rates for individual markets and lanes, can be found in DAT Power Load Boards and in DAT RateView. 

Van rates declined in Chicago and major California markets last week, which contributed to a 2¢-per mile decline in the national average rate, now $1.77 on the spot market. Rates edged up in Philadelphia, Memphis and Seattle, but dropped in Buffalo, Chicago, Atlanta and L.A., compared to the previous week. Rates are derived from DAT RateView, and are based on actual rate agreements between freight brokers and carriers. Reference rates include fuel surcharges but not accessorial or other fees. This map of van rates in key regional markets can also be found on DAT Trendlines.

DAT TriHaul of the Week - VAN

Rates fell for vans in both directions between Charlotte and Buffalo last week, dropping the roundtrip average to $1.82/mile for a three-day trip. If it works with your schedule, you can make $820 more by replacing the 1,300-mile roundtrip with a 1,600-mile TriHaul route.

Find a load from Buffalo to Knoxville, TN, which paid $1.79/mile last week – that’s 28¢ more per mile than the Buffalo-to-Charlotte lane. From Knoxville, it’s less than 250 miles back to Charlotte, and the going rate on that leg was $2.48/mile last week for vans. TriHaul route suggestions are offered in DAT Express and DAT Power load boards, and rates are derived from DAT RateView.



Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.



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