Fleet Management

Flatbeds Post Only Increase in Spot Market Rates Over Past Week

March 18, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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The average flatbed rate on the spot market picked up a little more steam while rates in the other two sectors remained stable as both the number of loads to move and truck capacity increased.

According to DAT Solutions network of load boards, flatbeds increased 1.4% the second week of the month compared to the first week to $2.15 per mile. All of the hike was in the linehaul portion of the rate while the fuel surcharge was unchanged.

Much of the gain was due to strong Southern markets, with the average outbound rate from Jacksonville increasing 20 cents to $2.86 per mile while Tampa added 8 cents to $1.46 per mile. Houston edged up a penny to $2.25 a mile, Ft. Worth rose 5 cents to $1.99 per mile while the Houston-Bismarck lane jumped to $2.59 a mile, a 40-cent increase. Flatbed rates fell in other markets.

Meantime, the average rate for both vans and reefers were unchanged at $1.94 and $2.16 per mile, respectively, however, there were a few bright spots including outbound van freight in Los Angeles gaining 4 cents for $1.99 per mile.

This rate activity, or a lack of it, happened as freight availability on the spot truckload market gained 4.2% and capacity increased 7.6% during the week.

Van freight availability on DAT load boards increased 2.5% while capacity jumped 7.4% compared to the previous week. The van load-to-truck ratio fell 4.6% from 3.7 loads, meaning last week there were 3.5 van loads posted for every available van trailer on DAT load boards.

Reefer freight availability fell 3% last week and capacity rose 11%, which sent the reefer load-to-truck ratio down 12% from 11 to 9.6.

Flatbed load availability increased 12% while capacity added 5.3%. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio gained 6.3% from 13.9 to 14.8.

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