DAT Weekly Trendlines Report – Van Freight Growth Stalls Due to Bomb Cyclone

Week Ending March 16, 2019

Just as rates were about to turn around, they took another hit last week. Van rates were affected most, by extreme weather that closed highways and forced cancellations and delays. Expect flatbeds to rebound first, though, as they bring in heavy machinery that’s needed to repair the damage.

Denver was hit hard last week, with a huge snowstorm that closed three interstate highways: I-25, I-70 and I-76. In Nebraska, most of the snow had melted, leading to “historic flooding” that shut down traffic on I-80. The highways are open now, but there are still flood warnings in six states: Nebraska, parts of neighboring South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota, plus eastern Arizona and western Mississippi.

More crazy weather: High winds tore across the highway at 80 miles per hour on near Amarillo, TX, toppling 40 tractor-trailers, according to reports. One of those trucks can be seen on this very scary video, available on CDL Life.

Meanwhile, we’re adding to our weather vocabulary. This month’s new word is “bombogenesis.” That’s what happens when the barometric pressure drops suddenly, generating explosive growth in a storm that becomes a “bomb cyclone.” Most of these sudden storms form over the ocean, but this month’s bomb cyclones formed over the Continental U.S., wreaking havoc. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of the bombs, and life will return to normal very soon as the flood waters recede.


Load-to-truck ratios stayed low for dry vans last week, and rates declined due to severe storms and flooding that closed highways in the Midwest and Mountain regions.

For more spot market freight trends, visit www.dat.com/trendlines.