Winter Storm Stalls Freight, as Van Rates Rise

Winter Storm Stella kept a lot of freight from moving early last week, which stalled volume in markets along the East Coast. First, there was a rush to move freight before the storm hit, and then highways were closed, so most freight couldn’t move at all. After roads were clear, there was a rush to catch up, and the pent-up demand drove van rates higher. The snow was not as deep as expected, so conditions should already be back to normal in most markets.

Houston is Hot for Vans

You won’t find any snow down in Houston, where freight volumes and rates continued to climb last week. And it’s not just vans. Houston is number one for load posts on DAT load boards in 2017 so far, for all trailer types combined.

Six Lanes Make Big Gains

It’s been a while since we saw the average rate rise by 20¢ or more per mile on four lanes, in a single week. Last week’s standouts included Houston to New Orleans, where rates kept going up, adding another 20¢ to $2.29 per mile. The rest of the big increases were related to the storm, as shippers tried to coax carriers back onto the roads in the snowy Northeast.

Buffalo to Allentown, PA, was up 22¢ to an average of $2.80 per mile

Allentown to Boston also paid 22¢ better at $3.19 per mile

Philadelphia to Boston rose 21¢ to $3.27 per mile

• Inbound lane rates from Charlotte to Allentown and Columbus to Allentown also rose by double digits