The load-to-truck ratio declined from
A 3¢ decline brought van rates down to $1.62 per mile as a national average last week. The change included another 1¢ decline in the average fuel surcharge. Rates rose for high-volume lanes originating in Denver, Houston and Atlanta, but outbound rates declined in Chicago and Philadelphia.
The roundtrip between Chicago and Columbus is problematic, but not because of the rate per loaded mile, which is a solid $1.82. The difficulty is that you’ll spend two days on the road, but you’ll only drive 700 at that rate. You make about $1,278, which is less than $650 per day. You can do better with a TriHaul. Instead of going straight back from Columbus to Chicago, find a shorter haul to Michigan, Indiana or Kentucky, and pick up a second load back to Chicago. One option is Louisville. A TriHaul from Columbus to Chicago via Louisville will boost your average rate from $1.82 to $2.08/mile for the roundtrip. You’ll wind up with almost $1,800 for the two-day TriHaul, which is $500 more than you would have gotten for a straight roundtrip.