Where's the Freight? 5 Markets with Lots of Van Loads

The national average van rate rose 1¢ last week. Following a seasonal October lull, van load posts on DAT load boards increased 4.5%, but the load-to-truck ratio is still low at 1.6 loads per truck. Below is a look at five markets where you should be able to find a van load fast. Each city is in the top 20 for load posts for November, plus they all have load-to-truck ratios well above the national average.

All rates are from DAT RateView™, and are also available in DAT load boards.

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MEMPHIS has been relatively slow this year but appears to be turning the corner. Of the 13 major van freight markets tracked weekly in DAT Trendlines, only Memphis had an average outbound rate above $2.00/mile last week. Dallas is the top destination for loads, but Texas is in a freight slump. Instead, try the lane from Memphis to Atlanta, averaging $2.18/mile. Atlanta is the number-one market for outbound loads, even though its load-to-truck ratio of 0.7 isn’t much better than Dallas.

LOS ANGELES: Outbound van rates remained strong in L.A., which also ranks 7th for inbound loads in November. The highest-volume lane to Phoenix is down a bit from October but still averaged a nice rate of $2.61/mile over the past couple of weeks.

MINNEAPOLIS: The Upper Midwest has been strong for van freight thanks to fall harvests. Minneapolis ranks in the top 10 for spot market volume so far this month, and the backhaul lane to Chicago has averaged $1.70/mile. Fargo, ND, also has a high load-to-truck ratio thanks to a relative shortage of trucks, but load posts there are more moderate.

CHARLOTTE: Van rates out of Charlotte are down for the month, but load availability remains strong. The lane to Atlanta paid an average of $2.10/mile, which is another strong rate on a lane connecting two major freight hubs. The return trip averaged $2.08/mile in November, giving you $2.09/mile for the roundtrip.

PORTLAND, OR: The Pacific Northwest is hot for both van and reefer freight. Potatoes are leaving Twin Falls, ID, while trees are on the move out of Medford, OR, and Pendleton, OR. Portland cracked the top 20 for load posts, with a load-to-truck ratio that’s also well above the national average.

Daily maps, along with detailed information on demand, capacity and rates for individual markets and lanes, can be found in DAT Power Load Boards. Rates are derived from DAT RateView, based on actual transactions between brokers and carriers on more than 65,000 lanes. For more information, send us an email or call 800.551.8847.