Demand for dry vans fluctuates depending on the time of year and regional location, causing rate changes on the spot market. National rate increases for dry vans typically occur at three different times throughout the year, and are largely driven by how the produce industry was positively or negatively affected by the weather. These increases typically occur from March to April, June to July, and September to October.
From March to April, there is more demand for transportation across the board due to the change in weather and the anticipation of increased business activities in the summer months. From June through July, the peak of the produce season, there is high demand for transporting goods from the southern states to the north. There is typically an average ratio of 3:1 for loads to truck. From September to October there is an increase in demand from retail businesses, driving up rates up for the holiday season. After October most companies are fully stocked and ready for the surge of consumers coming to their stores.
When demand increases and the number of drivers stay the same, everyone is competing on prices to obtain a driver for their shipment. This holds true across industries that are using dry vans. Companies need to keep in mind that even if they are in the produce/retail industry they can expect increases in rates due to the market conditions of other industries.
What trends have you seen in the dry van market? Let us know in the comments section below.
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