Van Rates and Volumes Slip From Seasonal Peak

Van rates fell 3¢ last week, from a rare early November peak. The national average adjusted down to $1.67 per mile, but it's still higher than the average for October, so the one-week drop is not a cause for alarm.

There were also some regional shifts happening, and those don't show up in the national rate. The strongest markets are still out West. Volumes were up 10% last week in Stockton, CA, while Los Angeles and Ontario, CA continue to be the top two markets to find a van load on DAT load boards. The entire western region lit up on the Hot States map, which means load-to-truck ratios favor the trucker in eight states in the West and Upper Midwest regions.

The darkest red areas have load-to-truck ratios of 5.5 loads per truck and above. Most of the high-demand states are concentrated in the West, Northwest, Upper Mountain, and Upper Midwest regions.

Individual markets and lanes also got a rate increase last week, including a handful of lanes originating in Philadelphia, Memphis and Charlotte:

  • Philadelphia saw the biggest jump in average outbound rates, thanks mostly to a couple of lanes to other destinations within the Northeast. The average rate on the lane from Philadelphia to Boston rose 10¢ to $3.20 per mile, and if you can find a load back from Boston to Allentown, PA, the average rate was up $1.73 per mile last week.
  • Philly to Buffalo was also up 10¢ to an average of $2.11 mile. It’s still tough to get a good rate from Philly if you’re heading to the Midwest or to the Southeast, however.
  • A couple of lanes in the Southeast also improved last week. Memphis to Charlotte got a 10¢ boost, to $1.86 per mile, and rates rose 16¢ to $2.06 per mile from Charlotte to Buffalo.

Lane-by-lane rate information and Hot Market Maps are available in the DAT Power load board. Rates are based on DAT RateView, with $28 billion in lane rates, updated daily, for 65,000 point-to-point lanes across North America.

Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.