Farm equipment sales bolster flatbed truckload demand

For carriers in the specialized flatbed and drop-deck sector, 2021 is shaping up as a much better year, according to Deere & Company, the world’s largest farm equipment manufacturer. The company expects worldwide sales of its agriculture and turf equipment to increase as economic conditions in the agricultural and construction sectors continue to improve. 

During the company’s recent Q1 earnings call, it was forecasted that sales of large agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada will rise 15-20% in 2021 while sales of small agricultural equipment will rise 5%.

According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, manufacturing sales are expected to increase:

  • Self-propelled combine harvesters sales are:
    • Up 7% y/y at the end of March
    • Up 16% year-to-date
    • On track to exceed the five-year average sales volume for the current quarter
  • Total farm tractor sales are up 55% YTD
  • The 40-horsepower segment are up 96% y/y and up 64% YTD

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Flatbed load post volumes in the top 10 markets increased by 7% last week with capacity tightening considerably following an average rate increase of $0.17/mile to $3.32/mile. 

The mid-south region recorded a 54% w/w increase in load post volumes, which pushed spot rates up by $0.21/mile to an average of $3.55/mile. These include the following markets:

  • Memphis
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Decatur, AL
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Jackson, MS
  • Montgomery, AL