Spot Freight Volumes Get Welcomed Boost

We got a welcomed surge of spot market freight to close out July. It’s unusual to see an uptick in volumes at this point in the summer, but the top 100 van lanes set all-time records for volumes last week. Rates didn’t respond though, and weaker reefer load counts are likely to blame. That would’ve led to more reefer trucks competing for van freight, and the extra capacity kept rates down.

Demand for dry vans was still high across Texas and must of the Southeast, but activity is starting to shift to the Midwest for the second half of summer.

Last week, the three markets with the biggest gains for van rates also happened to be in three areas where the crop yields have been strongest. Rates rose in Philadelphia, Buffalo and Seattle, since nearby agricultural areas were keeping reefers busy.


Columbus, OH, had spikes on a pair of lanes shipping into the Northeast, which is unusual for this time of year:

  • Columbus to Buffalo was up 17¢ to $2.79/mile
  • Columbus to Allentown, PA, added 17¢ at $2.88/mile

Those lanes are closely tied to retail, and other retail lanes were down last week.

Out West, the regional lane from Seattle to Spokane, WA, rose 20¢ to an average of $2.92/mile.


With the shift of activity from the South to the Midwest, we saw some seasonal declines on lanes out of Atlanta.

  • One example was Atlanta to Chicago, down 14¢ to $1.47/mile
  • Memphis to Indianapolis was more typical of retail lanes last week, falling 20¢ to $1.90/mile
  • Houston to Oklahoma City is lane influenced heavily by the energy sector, and rates fell 16¢ to $2.02/mile

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