Van freight has gotten steady in the past few weeks, but the lower number of available reefer loads has been a drag on van rates. When there isn’t enough reefer freight to go around, those trucks start competing for van freight, and the extra capacity has kept van rates from going up in a lot of places.
Darker-colored states have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning that there's less competition for van loads in those states.
There were a lot more van loads available in Allentown, PA, and Philadelphia last week, but the number of available trucks kept the state from turning dark in the Hot States Map above. Mudslides and detours on I-5 affected shipments in the Pacific Northwest. The average van rate from Seattle to Eugene, OR, jumped up 21 cents to $2.28 per mile.
NOT SO HOT
Outbound rates in Los Angeles were only down 1 percent last week, but they’re way down for the month – only Denver has seen a bigger drop in the last four weeks. Part of that is due to bad weather, but soft contract freight has also played a role. Los Angeles is the No. 1 market for contract freight, and the low contract freight volume has led to more contract carriers putting trucks on the spot market, which has hurt spot rates.
There’s less retail freight moving right now, which has affected shipments between the two distribution hubs of Memphis and Columbus. Unlike a lot of lane pairs, these two tend to move up and down in tandem, and last week they were both down. If you’ve got the extra time and are looking to get some extra miles, you can turn that trip into a TriHaul to compensate for the falling rates.
Instead of taking a load back from Memphis to Columbus, you can haul a load to Bloomington, IL, which paid an average of $2.03/mile last week. You could then pick up another load in Bloomington that’s bound for Columbus, and that lane has paid $2.04/mile on average. The trip adds a little more than 200 miles, not counting deadhead, but you can also boost your average rate for all loaded miles from $1.57 to $1.89/mile. The TriHaul even works in the other direction.
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