National average rates held steady for vans last week, as gains in the Southeast and some California markets were offset by declining rates in the Midwest and Northeast. Spot market load volume and load-to-truck ratios increased for all equipment types on DAT Load Boards, however, a signal that rates should improve very soon.
A look at the top 100 freight markets nationally, too, showed load volumes increasing, says DATs Ken Harper, across segments. “Rates had only just started to move,” however, he adds. “We still think classic economics applies here: as demand increases, so will rates. We’ll see next week.”
The lane between Memphis and Chicago averaged $1.76 last week for dry vans. Rates rose on both legs, to $1.96 a mile on the southbound run. The Memphis to Chicago lane, however, stood only at $1.55 per mile on average. Breaking up the northbound run with a load to St. Louis would add just around 50 miles of driving, but that lane averaged $2.36 per mile last week. A second load from St Louis to Chicago could pay $1.97 give or take, judging by the averages. Complete it all in two days and you’re adding $450 to the trip on average. Examine hypothetical details below.