Despite an 8.5 percent increase in shipper and broker posts on DAT Solutions’ load board, rates for van, reefer and flatbed declined for the week ending Feb. 27. DAT is reporting optimistic news for flatbed freight.
Van rates fell 4 cents to $1.54 for the nationwide average although demand increased by 3 percent for a second consecutive week. According to DAT, increased rail volumes may have driven up intermodal competition in certain markets.
Reefer averages decreased 5 cents to $1.79 after a 2 percent slide in the load-to-truck ratio to 2.8 loads per truck. Domestic production of produce has been slow, and it is still early in the year for general produce harvest, DAT reports.
Flatbed rates dropped 3 cents to $1.80 despite a 19 percent increase in the load-to-truck ratio. Load posts for flatbeds increased by 33 percent in February compared to January, with a 10 percent increase in capacity. DAT reports that flatbed demand is strong in the Southeast, particularly in Atlanta, Ga., and Roanoke, Va., where rates increased to $2.05 and $2.30, respectively. Raleigh, N.C., to Baltimore, Md., lane is yielding a $3.10, an 80-cent increase.
Rates for flatbeds are not going up everywhere. A reduction in steel shipments has had a negative impact on flatbed freight from Birmingham, Ala. The Birmingham to Ohio lane went down 46 cents to $1.16. Harrisburg, Pa., flatbed rates were $2.89, a 73-cent drop.
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