Flatbed rates had been trending down for the past month, but there was a small rebound last week. On the top 78 lanes, rates rose on 42 of them, while 31 declined. The other 5 were neutral.
Darker-colored states have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning there's less competition there for flatbed loads.
TOP 5 FOR FLATBED LOAD POSTS
These markets have had the most flatbed loads on DAT TruckersEdge so far in 2017.
1. Little Rock, AR
2. Rapid City, SD
3. Mobile, AL
5. Jackson, MS
All rates below include fuel surcharges are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.
Results for flatbed have been mixed so far in 2017, but there's positive things happening for metals, especially steel. That’s helped push outbound flatbed rates in Memphis up ▲9% in the past month. Pittsburgh, Tampa and Fort Worth also made gains last week.
There were some steep drops out East (more on those later), but one lane saw big gains: Flatbed loads going from Roanoke, VA, to Pittsburgh paid an average of $2.44/mile last week.
The biggest surprise was two strong lanes out of Las Vegas, which in recent years has become a hub for building materials:
- Vegas to Los Angeles rates were up ▲23¢ to $2.50/mile
- Las Vegas to Phoenix jumped up to $2.65/mile
There were some big declines last week on some eastern lanes.
- Baltimore to Springfield, MA lost ▼38¢ at $2.85/mile
- Roanoke to Harrisburg, PA fell to $2.57/mile
A couple lanes out of Cleveland were down sharply
- The lane to Roanoke was down ▼35¢ to $2.46/mile
- Cleveland to Harrisburg lost ▼33¢ for an average of $2.45/mile
The rates aren’t terrible, just lower than the recent past.
Outbound flatbed rates in Memphis have been trending upward, and a popular destination from there is Houston. The average rate on that lane is up to $2.26/mile, but the backhaul is down to $1.57/mile in the past week. If you can make it work with your schedule, you break that return trip up into two shorter hauls using a TriHaul route.
From Houston you can take a flatbed load to New Orleans, which paid $2.21/mile on average last week. For the last leg of the TriHaul, flatbed loads leaving New Orleans for Memphis have averaged $1.86/mile, which would give you an average of $2.13/mile for the entire TriHaul. Obviously, you can negotiate for higher rates, but even if you get just the market average on each leg, it'd still work to be an extra $606 for the entire trip and adds about 170 miles, not counting any possible deadhead.
The TriHaul tool is included with DAT Express load board subscriptions. Sign up today or call 866.487.8253