Rate Trend of the Week – Location, Location, Location

National average rates are up for the three major equipment types on the spot market, but some individual markets and regions are trending down while others are up. As our friends in real estate say, there are only three important factors in pricing: location, location and location.

Take vans, for example. Our Hot Market Maps show strong demand and relatively scarce capacity — represented by a high load-to-truck ratio and a dark brown color — in markets across the southern band of the country, from coast to coast. There is a lot more detail available in DAT Power Load Boards and in Truckload Rate Index — but this snapshot tells us that in the dark-colored areas we can expect rates to trend up. Within regions or states, each individual market has its own seasonal quirks — so the trends are far from uniform.

Let’s look at vans by region, for now. There is a lot more detail available in DAT Power Load Boards and in Truckload Rate Index — but it’s clear that in areas with more loads and fewer trucks, there will be pressure on rates.I’ll blog about reefers in a separate post.

WEST – Outbound rates from Stockton were up 2.5% last week, except the lane to L.A., which held at $1.34 per mile. Rates from the Denver market slipped 3.1%, mostly on moves to California. The lane from Denver to Stockton lost 12% to $1.26 per mile. Seattle to L.A., at $1.04 per mile, was the lowest-priced lane for the third consecutive week. (For more low-paying routes to avoid, see The Worst Lane in America.)

SOUTH CENTRAL – Rates moved down 0.9% from Dallas, after a four-week gain of 6%.

MIDWEST – Long haul rates declined from Chicago to Atlanta and L.A., for an overall dip of 1.7% in outbound van rates from the Windy City.The lane from Chicago to Atlanta lost 8% to $1.80 per mile.

NORTHEAST – A gain of 4.7% on rates from Philadelphia paid off for vans from Philly to the Southeast, including Atlanta and Charlotte..Philly to Boston, already the highest rate in the country, gained 8.8% last week to $3.35 per mile. Wow. Of course, the southbound rate from Boston to Philly fell 12% to $1.86, but the round trip is still solid.

SOUTHEAST – Rates are up 3.9% from Charlotte, mostly on lanes to the Northeast. Charlotte to Philly was up 9.7% to $2.94 per mile. At the same time, outbound rates dipped 3.4% from Atlanta on lanes in all directions.