Booming Oil Industry Boosts Flatbed Demand

The energy sector heated up in January, which contributed to higher flatbed load counts for the month. Bad weather in some parts of the country also disrupted construction, though, which led to some pretty uneven changes in flatbed lane rates in January.

Houston is the number 1 market for flatbed loads, and volumes have improved there, even though rates haven’t followed suit yet. Farther north, outbound flatbed rates in Dallas are up 5% for the month. We’ve also seen growing demand and higher rates out of Georgia, especially in Savannah.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


Construction activity boosted rates out of Las Vegas:

  • The lane to Los Angeles was up to an average of $3.31/mile
  • Las Vegas to Phoenix also jumped up to $2.97/mile

Continuing the regional theme out of Nevada: Flatbed rates from Reno to Seattle rose to $2.97/mile.

Rock Island, IL, to Minneapolis rose at an average of $3.71/mile


Demand has been weaker in Florida and Pennsylvania this month. Florida has a balance problem, where the demand for inbound freight is much higher than the demand for outbound trucks. That pushed rates lower out of Tampa.

North Carolina and Virginia were especially affected by the winter weather this month, and prices fell out of Roanoke.

  • Roanoke to Pittsburgh flatbed rates fell to $2.15/mile last week
  • Cleveland to Grand Rapids tumbled to $2.65/mile
  • Rates on the Birmingham to Mobile lane spiked in the middle of the month but have since come back down to $2.15/mile

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in DAT load boards, including rates from DAT RateView.