Flatbed Report: Steel volumes down but some mills expand capacity – DAT Freight & Analytics


Metal output within the U.S. within the week ending September third fell by 7.7% in contrast with the identical time-frame in 2021, in keeping with the American Iron and Metal Institute (AISI). Adjusted year-to-date (YTD) manufacturing is 61,3188,000 web tons, at a functionality utilization fee of 79.9%, down 3.7% from the 63,690,000 web tons throughout the identical interval final yr. In flatbed truckload equal phrases, that’s roughly 79,000 fewer truckloads of metal this yr. 

Tonnage is down in all however the northeast area from a y/y perspective. The Nice Lakes area has seen probably the most important decline and is down 15% from 2021 and, not seasonally adjusted, is down 3,178,000 tons or roughly 105,000 truckloads. Lots of tonnage has shifted to the Southern area in recent times, and y/y comps present a 13% decline with about 10,000 fewer truckloads. Present YTD volumes are trending nearer to 2016 ranges; nevertheless, the regional combine has shifted, with the Southern area taking the highest spot. Whereas tonnage has declined domestically, in keeping with AISI’s newest report, imports are up 28.5% from the identical interval in 2021. The most important suppliers have been Canada (4,709,000 NT, up 1%), Mexico (3,894,000 NT, up 35%) and South Korea (1,962,000 NT, up 10%).

The present Russia – Ukraine battle and vitality disaster are affecting the metal trade in reverse methods. In Pueblo, CO, the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Metal manufacturing unit mill together with a partnership with Lightsource BP, completed in late 2021 a 300-megawatt photo voltaic farm occupying 1,800 acres that can present 90% of the mill’s vitality utilization, an trade first. The mill is presently present process an enlargement so as to add the brand new electrical arc furnace, which can produce railroad rails as much as 100 meters lengthy, and might be accomplished in 2023. Though as a result of Russian-Ukraine invasion, the way forward for this metal mill is now a bit extra unsure. EVRAZ, Russia’s largest metal and mining firm, introduced they’re promoting their North American properties, together with the mill in Pueblo, CO. Because of the sanctions, a sale is probably not fast and simple; nevertheless, Pueblo metropolis leaders are nonetheless assured within the mill’s progress, because the mill had a number of house owners previously.

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

After reducing for the three weeks, Los Angeles outbound flatbed linehaul charges elevated by $0.06/mile final week to a median of $2.36/mile. Masses 270 miles to Las Vegas have been paying a lot larger at $3.37/mile, though that’s virtually $0.50/mile decrease than the earlier yr. Within the Southeast Area, flatbed capability was scarce final week, pushing up spot charges by almost $0.30/mile to a median outbound fee of $2.94/mile. In one of many largest markets within the nation, flatbed charges jumped in Atlanta following final week’s $0.17/mile enhance to $2.71/mile for outbound hundreds, whereas in close by Savannah, charges have been up by $0.36/mile to $2.90/mile. 

Masses from Savannah to Memphis dropped to their lowest degree in 12 months at $2.19/mile – virtually $0.70/mile decrease than the earlier yr. In Gary, IN, flatbed charges elevated by $0.47/mile final week to a median of $3.19/mile, reversing the downward development in August despite the fact that load posts have been down 18% w/w. In Houston, common outbound charges dropped for the fourth week to a median of $2.67/mile, whereas on the oilsands lane to Edmonton, spot charges at $2.40/mile are round $0.60/mile larger than the earlier yr. 

Flatbed load posts are round 50% decrease in comparison with the earlier yr however inside 4% of 2018 ranges, which was an excellent yr for flatbed carriers from a requirement perspective. Load posts decreased 15% w/w and at the moment are down by 12% within the final month because the flatbed market continues to chill. Tools posts are similar to 2019 following final week’s 12% lower, which is round 40% larger than the earlier yr. Because of this, the flatbed load-to-truck (LTR) ratio remained largely unchanged at 14.28 final week. 

After dropping by $0.41/mile since June, flatbed linehaul charges have been flat final week at $2.24/mile. Spot charges at the moment are $0.44/mile decrease than the earlier yr and simply 1% or $0.03/mile larger than in 2018, when flatbed carriers have been on the tail-end of a powerful yr from a requirement perspective.  


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