The top 10 flatbed markets of 2022

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Flatbed trucking companies send freight all over the country, but 10 cities were flatbed load magnets in 2022. We’ve combed through over $137B of logistics invoices from last year and found the top 10 flatbed markets. Do any of these surprise you? 

But first, what even is a flatbed trailer? 

Fortunately, the name does a lot of the legwork. Flatbed trailers are just that: long, flat beds designed to carry oversized items or items that don’t need surefire protection from the elements. Without walls or a ceiling, items on flatbeds are secured with industrial cargo straps and can be loaded several different ways. This is especially useful if trucks aren’t being loaded from a typical bay or have strange-shaped cargo. There are several models of flatbeds, all of them designed for different weight limits and hauling capabilities. If you’ve ever been traveling and noticed a semi-truck carrying a windmill blade, steel I-beams, or a mobile home, you’ve seen a flatbed trailer. 

How is this data gathered? 

Insights from DAT iQ are derived from a database of more than $137B in transportation invoices annually, the largest database of its kind. This captures supply and demand insights for every freight market in America. That invoice data is sent automatically from DAT iQ contributors, who in turn are able to benchmark their performance along with the overall marketplace. That data serves as the foundation for RateView Analytics, the industry standard for truckload pricing.

DAT also operates the industry’s largest on-demand truckload marketplace, DAT One. Combined with the deep analytics from DAT iQ, we get a comprehensive view of where flatbed trucks were most in demand in 2022.

The list below are the markets that had the most flatbed freight invoices for both spot market and contract shipments.

  1. Houston, TX 
  2. Dallas, TX 
  3. Fort Worth, TX 
  4. Savannah, GA 
  5. Birmingham, AL 
  6. Cleveland, OH 
  7. Atlanta, GA 
  8. Chicago, IL 
  9. South Bend, IN 
  10. N Charleston, SC


Where can you get insights like this?

We’ve got good news: you can have access to all of this data, too. Thousands of the nation’s top industry professionals use DAT to transform their businesses into profit-making machines. DAT users don’t guess when they make decisions. Our datasets and tools empower them to know what they’re doing. Because there shouldn’t be any guesswork in logistics. 

How do they do it? We’ll let you in on their secret. They use DAT’s suite of tools like: 

DAT iQLike opening a guarded vault, DAT iQ is a treasure trove of proprietary analytics and 360-degree market views that propel users to confident, sound business decisions. When we talk about not guessing and instead knowing what’s going on, this is how it’s done. DAT iQ benchmark analytics features shows professionals how they stack up against the competition, build flexible budgets that factor in market conditions and seasonality, do deep-dive evaluations on RFPs and routing guides, and identify opportunities quickly and efficiently. 

RateView – This is where the best of the best tackle the challenge of pricing. RateView lets professionals compare rates across the country, ensuring they’re competitive. But even better than that, they get a look at powerful predictive analytics that forecast what rates will be in the future. They’re always a step ahead of the competition. With RateView, users compare spot and contract rates, get the most current market insights, see the seasonal trends happening in real time, and much, much more. Over 7 million daily predictions and 13-month pricing histories inform the nation’s best and brightest to profitability and success. 

DAT’s Market Updates Blog – Our in-house experts comb through these datasets and write in-depth articles. These articles are free to everyone, and allow the sharpest analysts in the industry to share what they see with you. Any time you want, no purchase is required. That’s not a bad deal. 

DAT’s Weekly Trendlines – Similar to our Market Updates blog, our analysts give you a free macro look at the industry each week. There, you’ll find a high-level look at critical industry indicators like fuel prices, spot loads posted, spot load trucks available, national averages for van, flatbed, and reefer spot rates, a weekly brief that gives an expert’s take on what we’re seeing, and another collection of resources at the bottom where you can learn more about those trends. 

DAT iQ Live – Every week on YouTube and LinkedIn, these same experts host a live discussion breaking down the industry. Like our weekly trendlines, they’ll discuss what the industry is up against, the factors contributing to the market conditions, and solutions professionals can pursue to capitalize on opportunities. 

Check out Freight Focus, our annual report

Freight Focus, our annual report, is DAT’s year in review. We put our heads together and wrote a high-level overview of 2022. Once we found the trends that defined the year, we look ahead see how they might influence 2023. We’ll make a host of predictions so that the future is a bit more certain. Click here to read the report. 

If you look at the above list and worry you’re in the wrong market, don’t fret. Lucky for you, you don’t need to be in these cities to find trucks or freight. With DAT, you’re not restricted by geography – you can find freight or trucks wherever you are. DAT’s LoadBoard is the industry’s largest, most used, and most up-to-date. You won’t have any trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for no matter where you are. 

Ready to get going? Click here to find them. 

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