Van Rates Decline in Major Lanes

Van rates softened in major markets last week, and lanes with declining rates outnumbers those with rate increases. In the 64 highest-volume lanes, 27 had rate increases and 34 declined, with three remaining neutral, week over week.

The exceptions included Charlotte, with a 2% rebound that doesn't return the average outbound rate to its summer peak. Chicago saw a 1.2% increase, that follows last week's increase in Columbus, and reflects regional trends. Freight is more available in the Northeast and Upper Midwest at this time of year, whereas the Southeast is stronger in the spring and early summer months.

The downward trend was led by Memphis, where rates dropped to $2.02 per mile in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. That's a 4.4% change, which is significant for an overall market in one week. Philadelphia lost 3.4% but rates averaged $1.77 per mile, remaining higher than they were in mid-August. Atlanta lost 1.9% in outbound pricing; part of an ongoing, seasonal trend, and rates there may go lower than the current $1.86 average.

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