Flatbeds For Pickup Trucks, Freight brokers say market returning to normal patterns, but large flatbed shippers less affected by seasonality


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Flatbeds For Pickup Trucks – The fall in West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices has reduced capital spending by exploration and production companies, and for several months now, housing and housing construction has become one of the weaker segments of the economy. Demand for flat truck capacity – which is closely linked to construction and industrial production – has softened in the Southeast. In our view, the loosening of the flat market shows a return to a normal seasonal pattern (the strict 2017-8 winter is outliers).

A number of flatbed lanes with upward trails are in oil fields. According to the RateView DAT tool, flat trucks driving from Houston to Midland on the spot market averaged $ 2.24 / mile excluding fuel surcharges over the past seven days, which rose from the November average of $ 2.15. Spot rates from New Orleans to Midland and Shreveport to Midland, the pathway that connects the Haynesville shale game to the Permian Basin, also rose on average during November.

Flatbeds For Pickup Trucks

However, we see downward pressure on interest rates because spot flat prices continue to reduce contract rates. For intraregional movements in the Southeast region of DAT, flat spot rates are 48 cts below the thirty-day average for contract rates ($ 2.83 / mile); in South Central, which includes Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, the contract rate for intraregional transfers is $ 2.48 / mile net of fuel, 34 cts above spot.

“At the moment the price is down and demand is also down,” Nathan Frazier, National Account Director at LYNC Logistics, told us by telephone. “The market is generally down on the flatbed.” Frazier said that the flatbed rate had dropped 12-15% in the past month, which he attributed to returning to normal seasonal.

“Entering this period last year, customers became panicked because of the ELD’s mandate. So they moved a lot of things in a very short time to get them out of the dock, so that was not their responsibility, “Frazier recalled.” We will return to standard figures and procedures year-to-year. ”

Frazier said that flatbed transport is generally driven by smaller customers which slows production in the winter months. A freight broker executive in Chicago agrees.

“I recently heard from a large company in building a product that they have very low volumes in the second half of this year, and that it is consistent with their competitors,” said Andrew Silver, CEO at MoLo Solutions.

One broker based in Chattanooga that has concentrated on flatbed operators for a decade said that this picture is more complicated than overall seasonal softening, and that demand is uneven. Asa Shirley, Vice President of Sales at Arriving Logistics, told us that flatbed rates have increased with other types of equipment over the past year and a half and have not really dropped back.

“I feel like many flatbed carriers try to stay close to $ 2.30 or $ 2.50 miles,” Shirley said. “Many customers are still moving flatbed items – it’s not just a deadly faucet.”

Although housing starts to slow down, commodities that are more fundamental to the industrial economy are still moving at high volume.

“Larger customers are still moving and grooving,” Shirley said. One of Flatbed’s Arriving customers who sent steel still moved more than 400 loads per day. “Sometimes for a medium-sized account, it’s a good business not to do business at all. They are turned off to cut overhead and wait until the soil is softer. But larger flatbed customers do not do that, because they still have to push their commodities into the economy. A larger flatbed account is still rolling; You hardly see any season with them. ”

Shirley listed several flatbed markets in the Southeast where she saw opportunities for brokers, said that Tampa outbound was very tight and paid higher, and leaving the Panhandle “is a very tight and very difficult market,” while the rest in Florida remains soft.

“Anything that goes into Alabama or Mississippi [is an opportunity] —they are a good market if you are a truck driver,” concluded Shirley.

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