Flatbed Report: Aluminum production affects flatbed demand – DAT Freight & Analytics

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By Christina Ellington

Flatbed demand out of Kentucky may even see a decline within the subsequent few months as an aluminum producer proclaims plans to close down their Hawesville, KY plant. Century Aluminum introduced that it plans to close the smelter, which it calls “our largest U.S. smelter and the most important producer of excessive purity major aluminum in North America,” for 9 to 12 months beginning the week of Aug. 5. 

Based on Jesse Gary, president and CEO of Century Aluminum, energy prices have greater than tripled the historic common in a really quick interval. Nevertheless, he stays assured that the smelter may reopen as soon as costs stabilize. On April 28, Century reported that its shipments had been up 5%, and internet gross sales had been up 14%. Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the PPI for aluminum reached an all-time excessive in April at 195.77; nonetheless, aluminum’s commodity value, which peaked in March, has been on a decline and is down 35% for the reason that peak.

Based on the Aluminum Affiliation, the transportation sector is the most important North American marketplace for aluminum, accounting for 10.0 billion kilos or 35.5 % of whole shipments. Aluminum can also be the quickest rising materials within the automotive market right this moment, anticipated to develop round 12% on a per-vehicle foundation by 2026. Based mostly on Aluminum Affiliation surveys, the estimated annual U.S. major aluminum manufacturing price totaled 1,000.2 thousand metric tons (kmt) throughout March 2022, a rise of 12.9 % over the March 2021 annual price of 885.9 kmt.

All charges cited under exclude gas surcharges until in any other case famous.

Flatbed capability was tight in Medford, OR, following final week’s $0.45/mile improve in spot charges to $3.57/mile for outbound hundreds. On the 700-mile haul to Los Angeles, linehaul charges averaged $2.81/mile, which is $0.50/mile since Might and virtually the identical as final yr. Capability eased on the Medford to Phoenix lane as charges dropped to $3.08/mile however nonetheless $0.36/mile larger y/y. Whereas Tallahassee, FL, isn’t a major freight market, rating at quantity 73 out of 135 flatbed markets, capability was very tight final week. Load posts jumped by 38% w/w, pushing up outbound linehaul charges by $0.30/mile to a median of $3.32/mile. 

On the short-haul lane from Tallahassee to Lakeland, spot charges had been flat final week at $3.51/mile, which is $0.20/mile larger than the earlier yr. In Lakeland, ranked quantity 35 in flatbed load posts, spot charges elevated by a penny-per-mile to a median of $2.08/mile final week despite the fact that load publish s dropped by 4% w/w. 

Flatbed capability tightened in Los Angeles final week despite the fact that load posts dropped by 17% w/w. Linehaul charges in Los Angeles jumped by $0.22/mile final week to a median of $2.62/mile, whereas the alternative was confirmed on the high-volume northeast to Salt Lake Metropolis. At $2.95/mile, spot charges on this lane are virtually $1.00/mile decrease than the earlier yr, with an identical development on the 1,000-mile haul to Denver, the place charges averaged simply over $3.00/mile final week. Load east to Phoenix was larger final week at $4.08/mile and remained very near the long-term common on this lane.

Flatbed load posts plunged final week, lowering by 18% w/w however remaining simply over 5% above 2018 ranges when the flatbed market was sizzling. Flatbed gear posts keep at their highest degree in six years following final week’s 1% w/w lower. In consequence, the flatbed load-to-truck (LTR) ratio dropped by 17% w/w to twenty-eight.05 is closes to 2020 ranges. 

Flatbed linehaul charges have been dropping steadily for the final six weeks following final week’s $0.03/mile lower. Flatbed spot charges have decreased by $0.12/mile within the final month and are actually $0.24/mile decrease than the final yr and nonetheless 2% or $0.05/mile larger than in 2018. In comparison with prior non-pandemic years, flatbed linehaul charges are $0.47/mile larger. 

Learn the total weekly market replace.

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