Van rates moved up 2% in the last week, with rate increases in two-thirds of the nation’s highest-volume lanes. During the month of March, van rates rose 5.7%, but still lag March 2011 linehaul numbers by two cents per mile, year over year. Freight volume hit record highs on the spot market last year at this time, which was unusually early. Seasonal pressure could drive rates up in the coming weeks.
Reefer rates trended up throughout March, ending with a total increase of 8 cents per mile.
Flatbed rates saw both ups and downs this month, ending with a net gain of 5 cents per mile.
Los Angeles van rates have seen an increase of 4.2% over the last week, but no market has gained as steadily as Atlanta, with a 10.4% difference over the month, ending at about $2.07 per mile. Memphis is also heating up, with a 7.4% increase in March to average at $2.26 a mile.
Dallas showed 3.7% net growth in March, but declined 2.3% in the final week of the month. The Stockton market trended down slightly across the last week, but still remains one of the top markets for growth over the month. Denver was the only market with a net decline; rates from the Mile High City gained 1.9% over the past week, but lost 2.3% for the month of March, ending at $1.26 per mile.
Frequently changing Dallas to Laredo dropped 26 cents (13%) this week, to $1.81 a mile. On the West Coast, Stockton to Portland couldn’t maintain its momentum and fell back 22 cents (8.5%) to a still respectable $2.38 a mile. Lastly, the Denver-Dallas backhaul lane slipped 15 cents (10%), down to $1.35 a mile.