Load posts in the top 10 flatbed markets jumped by 26% last week, and unlike the reefer and dry van sectors, spot rates increased in most markets.
Memphis volumes increased by 34% w/w and in neighboring Little Rock, AR, volumes increased by 7% w/w. Capacity was flat in Memphis but much tighter in Little Rock, as spot rates climbed $0.24/mile to $2.56/mile for outbound loads. Three-day average rates on the 372-mile Little Rock to Birmingham, AL, lane are very tight this week, with rates averaging $2.96/mile and as high as $3.89/mile for some loads.
In Buffalo, a 12% w/w increase in load post volumes drove up spot rates by $0.40/mile to an average $3.70/mile. Capacity was very tight on the Buffalo-Raleigh, NC, lane, with spot rates averaging $4.05/mile and as high as $4.89/mile for top paying loads.
There’s a Groundhog Day theme to flatbed spot rates, which remain largely unchanged for the last 3 months, ending last week where they started at $2.19/mile excluding fuel. Compared to the same week in 2020, flatbed rates are still $0.40/mile higher.
How to interpret the rate forecast
1. Ratecast Prediction: DAT’s core forecasting model estimate showing continued optimism and rate growth.
2. Short Term Scenario: Formerly the pessimistic model that focuses on a more near-term historical dataset.
3. Blended Scenario: More heavily weighted towards the longer-term models.
4. Blended Scenario v2: More heavily weighted towards the shorter-term models.