Can you guess where spot van and reefer rates went last week during the Roadcheck blitz?

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They didn’t go home for vacation, that’s sure, though plenty owner-operators doing so — about a third according to our mid-week polling last week — certainly had its impacts.

Rates were up on 81 of the top 100 van lanes, according to the metrics tracked by DAT.Rates were up on 81 of the top 100 van lanes, according to the metrics tracked by DAT.

June is poised for record-setting rates on the spot market. Pricing had been relatively calm for April and much of May, but tighter truckload capacity has sent rates skyward in the last three weeks.

Hot van markets: Prices increased in basically every major van freight market not named “Seattle” last week, especially Houston; Columbus, Ohio; and Buffalo, N.Y. Demand was hot for freight moving into the Midwest, with inbound volumes for Chicago and Indianapolis near record levels.

Not so hot: Only a couple lanes fell double-digit cents last week. Among usual suspects was a lane out of Denver, where van rates from Denver to Oklahoma City dropped 10 cents on soft volumes, averaging just $1.44 per mile. The regional lane from Seattle to Spokane, Wash., also fell 10 cents but still averaged $3.20.

Tight reefer capacity on DAT boards was well evident in the 9 percent fall-off in truck posts last week, compared to the previous week and happening even though there was an extra business day (the Memorial Day holiday preceded Roadcheck week). So even though reefer volumes were a little underwhelming in places, the apparent scarcity of trucks sent rates upward.Tight reefer capacity on DAT boards was well evident in the 9 percent fall-off in truck posts last week, compared to the previous week and happening even though there was an extra business day (the Memorial Day holiday preceded Roadcheck week). So even though reefer volumes were a little underwhelming in places, the apparent scarcity of trucks sent rates upward.

Hot reefer markets: Prices out of Dallas soared. For example, reefer rates on the lane from Dallas to Denver surged 55 cents to $3.64 per mile. Further west, California pricing continues to improve a little ahead of schedule. Rates out of Sacramento have climbed 25 percent in the past month.

Not so hot: Florida shows up as dark blue in the map – meaning that the load-to-truck ratio is high – but that’s mostly just the middle and top parts of the state, and it’s on much lower volumes than has been the recent trend.. Out of Miami, lanes like the one to Atlanta are falling into off-season pricing, down 26 cents last week to an average of $1.72 per mile.

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