Van Rates and Volumes Slip From Seasonal Peak

Van rates fell 3¢ last week, from a rare early November peak. The national average adjusted down to $1.67 per mile, but it’s still higher than the average for October, so the one-week drop is not a cause for alarm.

There were also some regional shifts happening, and those don’t show up in the national rate. The strongest markets are still out West. Volumes were up 10% last week in Stockton, CA, while Los Angeles and Ontario, CA continue to be the top two markets to find a van load on DAT load boards. The entire western region lit up on the Hot States map, which means load-to-truck ratios favor the trucker in eight states in the West and Upper Midwest regions.

The darkest red areas have load-to-truck ratios of 5.5 loads per truck and above. Most of the high-demand states are concentrated in the West, Northwest, Upper Mountain, and Upper Midwest regions.

Individual markets and lanes also got a rate increase last week, including a handful of lanes originating in Philadelphia, Memphis and Charlotte:

  • Philadelphia saw the biggest jump in average outbound rates, thanks mostly to a couple of lanes to other destinations within the Northeast. The average rate on the lane from Philadelphia to Boston rose 10¢ to $3.20 per mile, and if you can find a load back from Boston to Allentown, PA, the average rate was up $1.73 per mile last week.
  • Philly to Buffalo was also up 10¢ to an average of $2.11 mile. It’s still tough to get a good rate from Philly if you’re heading to the Midwest or to the Southeast, however.
  • A couple of lanes in the Southeast also improved last week. Memphis to Charlotte got a 10¢ boost, to $1.86 per mile, and rates rose 16¢ to $2.06 per mile from Charlotte to Buffalo.

Lane-by-lane rate information and Hot Market Maps are available in the DAT Power load board. Rates are based on DAT RateView, with $28 billion in lane rates, updated daily, for 65,000 point-to-point lanes across North America.