Logistics Weekly

It’s Officially the Slow Season for Van Freight

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By Peggy Dorf

It’s officially the slow season. For many transportation and logistics pros, this is a great time to take a vacation, preferably on a tropical island somewhere. If you’re still moving freight this month, however, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding trucks.

This week’s forecast is for snow in the Mountain States, plus Kansas and parts of Missouri. Then we’re expecting some serious rainstorms, stretching from Texas, up to Tulsa, and east to Florida. Bad weather tends to drive rates up for the duration of the storm, so keep an eye on the forecast. Road conditions should be OK in the Upper Midwest and the Southwest for most of this week.

Hot Market Maps are included in DAT RateView and the DAT Power load board. The maps depict outbound load-to-truck ratios from 135 market areas and thousands of 3-digit zip code zones, by the hour, day, week, or month.

Rates Rise on a Handful of High-Traffic Lanes

Last week there were only a few lanes with rising rates. The trend was the same one we saw the week before last, though: The lanes with rate increases were mostly backhaul lanes that didn't pay all that well, to begin with.

The following are the 7-day rolling average rates that were paid to spot market carriers last week on a selection of lanes, as recorded in DAT RateView. Conditions are different this week, however, and your freight could have unique properties, so your results will vary.

  • Denver to Houston jumped 10¢ to $1.34 last week, and Houston to Denver lost 9¢ to $1.92.
  • Salt Lake City to Stockton, CA was up 6¢ to $1.63 per mile, and Stockton to Salt Lake held steady at $2.40.
  • Buffalo to Columbus gained 3¢ to $2.00 even, while Columbus to Buffalo dropped 4¢ to $3.15.
  • Memphis to Charlotte added 2¢ to $2.03, and Charlotte to Memphis lost 3¢ to $1.51.
  • Seattle to Spokane added another 3¢ to reach $3.32 and Spokane to Seattle held at $2.87 per loaded mile.

Van Rates Slip Lower Everywhere Else

Most rates declined in the rest of our Top 100 lanes. Here are a few highlights—or lowlights, depending on your perspective.

  • Phoenix to Los Angeles dropped 10¢ to $1.23 and L.A. to Phoenix fell 8¢ to $2.61.
  • Columbus to Atlanta rates plummeted 17¢ to $2.11, and Atlanta to Columbus paid $1.44, down 2¢.
  • Dallas to Houston lost 9¢ to $2.12, and Houston to Dallas fell 3¢ to $1.97 per loaded mile.
  • Chicago to Allentown, PA plunged 16¢ to $2.52 per mile, and Allentown to Chicago paid $1.31, which hasn’t changed much in the last six weeks.

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