Van Rates Are on Pace to Break Records

For November, the national average for spot market van rates is on pace to hit its highest mark in three years. Just two weeks ago, we saw a record number of loads moved on the top 100 van lanes. With demand still high for retail shipments, fuel prices climbing, and the ELD mandate right around the corner, spot market growth shows no signs of slowing just yet.

With so many people taking time off from work last week for Thanksgiving, shippers and brokers had to pay higher prices for the loads that did need to move. As a result, a whopping 73 of the top 100 van lanes had higher rates last week, and many of those increases were pretty substantial.

The West Coast continues to be a hotbed for van freight. Prices on a number of lanes out of Seattle and Stockton, CA, spiked again last week. Along with Los Angeles, those three markets have seen the biggest increases in outbound rates for November.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


There were huge spikes on a couple lanes heading inbound to Salt Lake City:

  • Seattle to Salt Lake City surged up to an average of $3.19/mile – that’s $1 per mile higher than a month ago.
  • Stockton to Salt Lake City also shot up 54¢ to $3.21/mile

Carriers can make a lot of money these days running up and down I-5.

  • Los Angeles to Stockton was up 24¢ to $3.14/mile
  • Stockton to Seattle gained 31¢ at $2.89/mile
  • Seattle back to Los Angeles rose 25¢ to $1.70/mile

You can use the DAT TriHaul tool to find other 3-legged routes that pay better than the regular roundtrip. The tool is available in DAT TruckersEdge Pro and DAT Power. Call 800.551.8847 to upgrade today.

In the rest of the country:

  • Dallas rates were up 6%
  • Columbus to Buffalo surged 47¢ to $3.36/mile

Big increases on lanes out of Chicago:

  • Chicago to Buffalo rose 37¢ to $3.22/mile
  • Chicago to Detroit was up 27¢ to $3.69/mile
  • Chicago to Columbus gained 32¢ at $3.60/mile


Not many declines last week. And for the most part, the ones that did pay less fell only slightly.

The biggest drop was the lane from Los Angeles to Dallas, where rates fell 15¢ to $2.40/mile – still high for a lane that gets heavy competition from rail.

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