Market Update: May 17, 2018

With produce season in full swing, we’re seeing tight capacity across the board, especially out the South East. Reefer rates are on the rise due to produce while flatbed rates took a slight dip after record highs due to peak season for construction and building products.

Spot Market Trends

ELD Hits Flatbed the Hardest

In a recent “State of Freight” webinar, Avery Vise, FTR Vice President of Trucking Research, shared the latest data on the recent flatbed capacity crunch.

Several possible reasons are combining to create this situation, he said, both on the demand side and the supply side of the equation. There’s more demand for flatbeds coming from recent strength in manufacturing and construction, as well as recent increases in petroleum prices pushing more domestic production. On the supply side, Vise said, many people think the ELD mandate is hitting flatbed the hardest. This sector includes a lot of owner-operators and small carriers and is typically not the first to adopt new technology, he noted. “There could also be equipment constraints. We saw a sharp increase in flatbed trailer orders starting in September, and that continued until very recently.”.