DAT Weekly: national van rate stops sliding

 Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock
  • The national van rate average for the week ended March 3 was $2.14 per mile, flat from the prior week and the first week it had not declined in seven weeks. “Van rates may be ready to rebound,” DAT said in its summary of rates. 
  • As far as specific cities, van rates in Los Angeles were unchanged at $2.14; up 2 cts in Dallas to $1.89; up 3 cts in Chicago to $2.67; up 5 cts in Atlanta at $2.40; and down 10 cts in Philadelphia to $2.08. 
  • One statistic cited for that view of a possible rebound: the strong flatbed market, where the load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds was almost 80 to 1, which DAT described that as a record high. In response, the average flatbed rate jumped to $2.39 from $2.35.
  • Spot reefer rates declined 3 cts to $2.40. Despite the decrease, DAT said “load volume is on the rise.” 
  • In a blog posting from Monday, DAT said that freight brokers set records in load volume and revenue in January, which enabled them to post a positive net operating profit for the month “that is unusual for the season.” “The record revenue was fueled by a 41% increase in the number of loads moved, with 26% more revenue per load, compared to January 2017,” the blog said. “Costs rose faster than revenues, however, adding 70% to labor expense and 24% to non-labor expense, as freight brokers invested in personnel and technology to prepare for business growth.”


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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.