Van freight: Texas demand sees GATS effect, rates sag nationally, and volume rises

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Updated Sep 4, 2015

DAT-VanHotStatesMap-2015- Aug23-29

Van freight availability ticked up 3 percent on the spot market last week, and truck posts were up 2 percent. After rounding, the national average load-to-truck ratio remained the same as the week prior and in Overdrive‘s last update at 1.8 loads per truck on DAT Load Boards. Some individual markets with a higher van load-to-truck showed opportunity: Southern and Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, Southern Idaho, much of Wisconsin and Indiana, and Western Pennsylvania. The state of Vermont is also dark red in the Hot States Map, but it didn’t provide a lot of loads.

The GATS effect: Texas had less freight than usual, and a lot more trucks, especially in the Dallas area during the Great American Trucking Show — rates followed suit:

DAT-VanRatesMap-2015- Aug23-29

Rates also declined in Los Angeles and other major markets, offsetting gains outbound from Chicago; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Charlotte, N.C., for a $1.75 spot market van average nationally.

Though the broad rate picture is lackluster, some lanes have seen action that has sent rates shooting up. There are van loads available for good money on the lane from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia, but the return trip is averaging a dismal $1.45 per mile. If you can grab a shorter load to Buffalo, paying well above $2.00 per mile this week, combined with a $1.70 average from Buffalo to Columbus you’ll add $800 to round-trip revenue. On average, that’s a rate boost for the round from $2.08 to $2.32 per loaded mile.

Examine the details in the graphic below.


Rates in this post are derived from DAT’s RateView product. “TriHaul” route suggestions are offered in DAT Express and DAT Power load boards, the company notes.