Van rates and load counts have been trending down for three weeks, and the national average van rate slipped to $2.26 per mile last week. Those are all normal January trends. That’s still a really high national average, though.
For comparison, the national average was just $1.67 per mile around this time a year ago. Rising fuel costs have added to the pressure on prices, but the big story is still the tight capacity that resulted from the ELD mandate.
Atlanta and Houston were the only two major van markets to buck the national trends last week. Load counts were up 27% in Atlanta, and volumes surged 33% out of Houston. There were more modest volume increases out of Chicago, Dallas, and Stockton, CA, which could offset the pattern of falling prices as we move into February.
All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.
The weather improved, and there was more movement on some Northeast lanes where shipments had been delayed. The flipside is that rates fell on other lanes in the region.
- Buffalo to Allentown, PA, rose 25¢ to an average of $4.15/mile
- Columbus to Buffalo was up 17¢ to $3.92/mile
- Boston to Allentown rates added 17¢ for a $2.40/mile average
Warmer weather around the Great Lakes also brought van rates back down closer to earth in the Upper Midwest. Prices fell out of Chicago, despite higher volumes.The West Coast has seen the sharpest declines in January, led by Los Angeles.
- Chicago to Detroit was down 39¢ at $3.86/mile
- Chicago to Buffalo came back down 29¢ to $3.55/mile – rates in the opposite direction also fell 29¢
- The Super Bowl has led to higher demand for freight heading into Minneapolis, so outbound prices are down. The lane to Chicago fell 21¢ to $2.67/mile
- Out West, Los Angeles to Seattle was down 21¢ to $2.64/mile. Looking ahead, the upcoming Chinese New Year may also lead to a slowdown in traffic at the West Coast ports