Flatbed Report: Steel production starts to lose steam – DAT Freight & Analytics


For the week ending on March 11, 2023, home metal mills made 1,677,000 web tons representing a lower of two% y/y or 60,000 tons or the equal of two,400 fewer flatbed truckload equivalents. The potential utilization fee was 75%, down from 78.7% the earlier 12 months. The present week’s manufacturing represents a 1.9% lower from the identical interval within the earlier 12 months. Manufacturing for the week ending was up 0.8% from the earlier week when manufacturing was 1,664,000 web tons, and the aptitude utilization fee was 74.4%.

Regionally, metal manufacturing rose by 14,000 tons within the Nice Lakes final week, after rising by 13,000 tons per week earlier, in accordance with knowledge from S&P Platts and the American Iron and Metal Institute. Metal mills on this area, which account for round 31% of the weekly tonnage, are clustered primarily alongside the south shore of Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana within the Gary, IN, flatbed market.  Metal manufacturing within the southern area, which accounts for round 43% of weekly manufacturing, encompasses many mini-mills and produced 704,000 tons in the course of the week of March eleventh, down from 717,000 tons the earlier week and 47,000 fewer tons than the earlier 12 months or 1,570 fewer truckload equivalents. 

Market Watch

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

Some excellent news emerged final week within the residential housing sector. In line with the U.S. Census Bureau, single-family constructing permits, a number one indicator of future development, had been up 8% m/m in February, the primary month-to-month improve since December 2021. Single-family dwelling begins, essentially the most freight-intensive for flatbed carriers, had been up 1% m/m, with 61% being constructed within the Southeast Area. Volumes had been up 3% w/w throughout the area, with stable beneficial properties reported in Jackson, MS, the place volumes elevated 13% w/w leading to outbound spot charges growing by $0.07/mile to $2.60/mile.

In neighboring Montgomery, flatbed capability was very tight on barely decrease volumes. Spot charges jumped by $0.42/mile to $2.90/mile for outbound hundreds, pushed by the best fee since final July on the short-haul lane to Atlanta, which averaged $651/load or $4.00/mile the earlier week. Houston remained the primary flatbed spot market following a 15% improve in quantity – spot charges elevated by $0.03/mile to $2.34/mile. On the high-volume lanes 600 miles west to Lubbock, charges had been flat final week at $2.69/mile, whereas at $2.23/mile, Texas state-level charges are the second-highest in seven years.

Load-to-Truck Ratio (LTR)

Flatbed volumes elevated to the best recorded this 12 months following final’s week 2% improve. As temperatures heat, coinciding with the official begin of Spring this week, volumes have elevated by 32% within the earlier month. Provider tools posts remained unchanged, ensuing within the final week’s flatbed load-to-truck (LTR) ratio rising by 3% from 15.82 to 16.34. 

Spot Charges

Flatbed spot charges proceed to extend following final week’s $0.03/mile improve to a nationwide common of $2.19/mile. Linehaul charges have elevated $0.07/mile within the final month and are simply $0.03/mile decrease than in 2018.  


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