Van Volumes Soar on the West Coast

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Truckload capacity has loosened in recent weeks, so prices have begun to normalize after months of rising van rates. Still, “loose” is only when compared to the past couple of months. Trucks are still in high demand, and van rates are still high in many parts of the country.

Prices dropped on 71 of the top 100 van rates, and rates were down out of nearly every major van market. The exception was Seattle. Outbound rates have surged 15% there in the past month, and volumes soared 36% last week.

Van load counts were high all across the rest of the West Coast. Los Angeles is still the number one market for van volume, and the number of loads jumped up another 11% last week. Stockton, CA, volumes also spiked.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


Not many big increases last week:

  • The biggest was Columbus to Buffalo, up ▲15¢ to $3.24/mile
  • Seattle to Los Angeles is a backhaul lane, which means that the rates is typically much higher going the opposite direction, but the southbound direction gained 14¢ to average $1.47/mile


Freight movements shifted southward after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, leading to elevated rates out of the Northeast. Those prices are coming back down to earth, with the more normal seasonal pattern of freight moving west to east, into the big population centers.

There were several big drops last week:

  • The biggest was on a relatively low volume lane: Chicago to Buffalo fell 47¢ to $2.97/mile
  • Columbus to Atlanta fell 25¢ on lower volume, averaging $2.19/mile
  • Buffalo to Columbus lost 31¢ at $2.07/mile
  • The lane from Seattle to Salt Lake City has paid high rates in recent weeks, but it dropped back down 24¢ to an average of $2.06/mile

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

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