Freight slows after end-of-quarter surge

Following a surge to end the month and the third quarter, the first week of October saw fewer loads and a dip in the load-to-truck ratio. Last week on the top 100 van lanes, rates increased in only 37 lanes, while 50 saw lower rates and 13 stayed the same. Most declines in lane rates were slight, however, dipping less than 10¢ per mile.

The national average van rate for October so far is $1.86, which is 2¢ higher than the September average and 5¢ higher than August.  

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Last week markets along the Rocky Mountains had the highest load-to-truck ratios. Hot Market Maps show the number of available trucks vs. available loads and are available in the DAT Power load board and DAT RateView.


Van load counts ended September strong, but load posts and load-to-truck ratios moved lower as the week wore on, as seen in this graph from DAT RateView

Rising markets and lanes

Rates moved slightly higher in the Southeast region, but faded nearly everywhere else. The third quarter ended strong, so this could be a part of the normal cycle at the beginning of a new quarter.

  • Columbus to Buffalo increased 15¢ to $2.94/mi
  • Memphis to Charlotte gained 8¢ to $2.07
  • Atlanta to Columbus added 7¢ to $1.53   

Falling markets and lanes

The Allentown, PA market had more than a 10% drop in freight volume, causing rates to move lower too. There was also less freight coming out of Dallas.  

  • Chicago to Buffalo dropped 10¢ to $2.51/mi.  
  • Denver to Oklahoma City also fell 10¢, to $1.21/mi.
  • Los Angeles to Denver dipped 9¢ to $2.54/mi.


RELATED: Reefer markets transition to autumn

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Mark Montague

As a mathematician and statistician, Mark Montague has spent decades developing and implementing consistent, market-driven rate structures for transportation companies. Mark was instrumental in developing the dynamic, spot market rates database and analysis tools in DAT RateView (formerly Truckload Rate Index.). Prior to joining DAT in 2009, Mark applied his expertise in logistics, rates and routing as a logistics manager and analyst for carriers, 3PLs and shippers. Mark holds an MBA in Transportation Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.


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