Van Rates Get Ready for a Rebound

Van trends: After two weeks of rising volumes, the number of van loads held steady last week on the spot market, while truck posts increased 3%. The result was a slight uptick in van rates on the Top 100 lanes: overall, 51 lanes were up, 39 were down, and 10 were unchanged, compared to the previous week.

Van rates have been stable at a national average of $2.14/mile for three weeks running, and they look ready for a rebound before the end of the month. That’s just a little more than two weeks away, and the end of March is also the end of the first quarter, when shippers typically accelerate freight movements to close their books on a high note.

This year, we could see added pressure from the kickoff of the penalty phase for the ELD mandate. Starting April 1, non-compliant trucks can be put out of service, and that could put an extra strain on tight capacity going into the spring freight season.

DAT provides the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 179 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $45 billion in real transactions.

Hot Markets

Dallas outbound rates edged up last week, but gains there were eclipsed by rising rates in Buffalo, NY. Pricing at that Canadian border market rebounded after several weeks of declining volumes. Two lanes had healthy rate increases:

  • Buffalo to Chicago gained 21¢ to $2.11/mile
  • Buffalo to Columbus was up 20¢ to $2.36/mile
  • Columbus to Allentown, PA also added 20¢ to $3.63, to position freight for last-mile delivery on the East Coast

Not So Hot

Rates slid lower on some key lanes out of Stockton, CA, due to a 10% drop in outbound load volume. Rates fell in Memphis, which could signal a brief lull, now that Easter retail goods have been delivered.

  • Stockton to Denver fell 12¢ to $2.11/mile
  • Memphis to Columbus lost 37¢ to $2.28/mile
  • Columbus to Atlanta was off by 13¢, at $2.52/mile

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