Flatbed Demand Picks Up in Spot Market

March 26, 2015

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The spot freight market was mixed last week as load availability decreased 3.9% and capacity crept upward by 6.6%, according to the latest numbers from DAT. Flatbed activity picked up, reefer loads fell, and van freight was steady.

Flatbed load ability grew 7.7%, and capacity fell 2.4% for the week. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio also increased from 14.8 to 16.4 reflecting the increased demand for the trailer. The average flatbed rate rose 3 cents to a national average of $2.18 per mile with some areas seeing rates climb as much as 40 cents.

Reefer loads dropped 11% while available capacity increased by 9.8%, sending the load-to-truck ratio down from 9.6 to 7.8. The national average for reefer freight dipped 1 cent to $2.15 per mile due to a decline in the average fuel surcharge.

Van loads rates were unchanged for the third straight week at $1.94 per mile. Freight availability fell 9.1% and capacity rose 8.3%, resulting in a drop of van load-to-truck ratio to 2.9. However, demand may rebound by the end of the quarter, says DAT.

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