Southern States are Red-Hot for Vans

Freight volume continues to be strong for vans, especially in the South, where some rough weather disrupted freight movements last week, and produce harvests occupied the reefers that might have hauled dry van freight in the off-season.

Van rates are holding steady at a national average of $1.79 per mile, even though fuel surcharges are declining. In fact, rates are a full 10¢ higher than the average for May, and they may go up again this week. Friday is the end of the quarter, and it’s also the last weekday before July 4th, so many shippers will feel extra pressure to move those last-minute loads before the weekend.

HOT MARKETS – Outbound rates rose by about 10 cents per mile last week in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Memphis, while Dallas rates added an average of 5¢ per mile. Storms and flooding played a big role. Rates also rose, if less dramatically, out of Chicago (up 4¢) and Allentown (up 3¢), which is a positive sign. This week, the hot markets are St. Louis and Laredo, with thousands of load posts per day and a shortage of available trucks, for all trailer types. Of all those, Atlanta was an absolutely red-hot market last week. In fact, it edged out Los Angeles for the highest average outbound van rate, at $2.29 per mile.

RISING LANES – Rates rose in 76 of the top 100 van lanes

  • Trucks got a 30¢ raise on the lane from Atlanta to Columbus, to $2.20 per mile.
  • Atlanta to Philadelphia got a 22¢ boost , to $2.78 per mile
  • The lane rate from Charlotte to Allentown gained 24¢ per mile, to $2.83
  • Likewise, Memphis to Indianapolis rates moved up 17¢, to $2.32

FALLING LANES – There weren’t many notable declines.

  • Stockton to Portland slipped 16¢ to $2.62 per mile, due to flooding in Stockton that coincided with an increase in southbound freight.
  • Buffalo to Allentown lost 11¢ to $2.63, due partly to a surge in outbound freight from distribution centers in Allentown.

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in the DAT Power load board, including rates from DAT RateView.