Logistics Weekly

DAT Weekly Trendlines Report – Atlanta Freight Starts to Rebound, But Trucks Aren’t Hard to Find

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Week Ending Nov. 10, 2018

Van freight volume is building on the top eight lanes originating in Atlanta. That signals the start of a rebound for the Southeastern freight hub, but for the first 10 days of November, van rates out of Atlanta are falling instead of rising. That’s because inbound volume is also on the rise, so there are plenty of trucks looking for loads out of A-Town.

One big source of inbound freight is the Los Angeles market. The rate from L.A. to Atlanta shot up 28 cents per mile in the first 10 days of November, to $2.43 per mile. That’s exceptionally high for a trip of 2,000-plus miles. The return trip from Atlanta back to L.A. lost 2 cents in the new month, however, to $1.37 per mile. That puts the roundtrip average at $1.90, up 4 cents, which is below the national average, but still pretty high for such a long haul.

Carriers search for loads from Atlanta to Miami, Chicago, or Dallas. The map above depicts truck posts and load searches by carriers originating in Atlanta in October 2018, kicking off the holiday freight season. Lighter blue, thicker lines represent the most popular destinations. The Atlanta market itself was the destination favored by the largest number of carriers during the month, as indicated by the dark orange spot.

For vans leaving Atlanta, all of the top lanes are paying less than the October average. Mostly, prices fell sharply on the lanes that connect the Atlanta market to the top five destinations for outbound trucks:

  • The average rate from Atlanta to Charlotte, NC, dropped 16 cents to $2.62
  • A-Town to Dallas lost six cents, to $1.80 per mile
  • Vans to Chicago got a 10-cent pay cut, to $1.36

Most loads leaving Atlanta are bound for Florida. The map above depicts load posts and truck searches by freight brokers originating in Atlanta in October 2018, kicking off the holiday freight season. Dark orange and light blue, thicker lines represent the most popular destinations. Central Florida was the number-one delivery point for loads posted on DAT load boards in October, followed by Miami.

But a load’s gotta go where the load’s gotta go, and the majority of outbound loads from Atlanta are headed to Florida. Because there are so many trucks available in Atlanta now, the increased volume on those lanes is not supporting high rates:

  • Atlanta to Lakeland, Fla., dropped 7 cents to $2.88 per mile
  • Atlanta to Miami van prices fell 7 cents, to $2.68

Even with the current downward trend, Atlanta could heat up before holiday shopping kicks into high gear. Fresh produce and poultry from other regional markets often make a stop in Atlanta, which is a major freight hub. Demand for reefers adds to pressure on van rates. Local warehouses and distribution centers get busy with dry goods at this time of year, as well. Atlanta may also serve as a transit point for construction materials and equipment en route to hurricane-ravaged communities in the Southeast, which will add to volume for vans as well as flatbeds.

For more details on spot market capacity and rates, visit DAT.com/Trendlines




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