Flatbed Report: U.S. manufacturing near three-year low – DAT Freight & Analytics


In keeping with the nation’s provide chain executives within the newest Institute for Provide Administration (ISM) Manufacturing Buying Managers Index (PMI), financial exercise in manufacturing contracted in March for the fifth consecutive month following a 28-month interval of development. At 46.3%, the March Manufacturing PMI is at its lowest stage since Could 2020, when it registered 43.5%. The ISM PMI is a diffusion index with the properties of main indicators with a studying above 50% indicating that the manufacturing financial system is mostly increasing; beneath 50% signifies that it’s typically declining. For flatbed carriers searching for demand indicators, the March end result additionally reported New Orders dropped 2.7% from 47.0% in February to 44.3%.

The March ISM survey confirmed all subcomponents of its manufacturing PMI beneath the 50 thresholds for the primary time since 2009. “Manufacturing is pulling again, however the service sector was nonetheless chugging alongside in February,” stated Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Monetary in New York. “So long as it stays properly above 50 when reported on Wednesday, the broad financial system needs to be nice. However, the well being of producing is expounded to the well being of the general financial system.” In keeping with Tim Fiore, Chair of the Institute for Provide Administration, “of the six greatest manufacturing industries, two — Petroleum & Coal Merchandise; and Equipment — registered development in March. New order charges stay sluggish as panelists turn out to be extra involved about when manufacturing development will resume. Provide chains are actually prepared for development, as panelists’ feedback assist diminished lead instances for his or her extra necessary purchases.”

Market Watch

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

Like dry van and reefer tools sorts, flatbed capability was additionally barely tighter in California final week at $2.15/mile for outbound masses, which is equivalent to 2019. Pushed by strong positive factors in Ontario, the state’s second-largest flatbed spot market, charges have been up for the fourth week, rising by $0.09/mile to $2.04/mile. Capability in San Francisco was a lot tighter following a final week’s $0.11/mile improve to $2.49./mile on a 7% decrease quantity. In neighboring Stockton, capability was additionally tight – charges elevated by $0.06/mile to $2.24/mile on a 22% decrease quantity. 

At $2.33/mile, outbound linehaul charges in Texas remained the second-highest in seven years following final week’s $0.01/mile improve. Charges elevated in Houston, the most important flatbed market within the state, up by $0.05/mile to $2.41/mile on a 23% decrease quantity. Hundreds from Houston to Ft. Value have been paying $2.93/mile, $0.13/mile larger than in March however $0.54/mile decrease than the earlier yr. Hundreds 750 miles southwest to El Paso, at $2.31/mile, have been $0.40/mile decrease than in March, whereas masses to Lubbock within the Permian Basin oilfield have been flat at $2.72/mile. 

Load-to-Truck Ratio (LTR)

March is usually when flatbed spot market exercise surges yearly, reaching as excessive as 25% of all masses moved. To date, volumes have steadily fallen, following final week’s 17% lower. Load posts are additionally round 34% larger than in 2020, whereas capability loosened following a 6% w/w improve in service tools posts. The online end result was the flatbed load-to-truck (LTR) ratio decreased by 22% w/w from 14.46 to 11.27, the second lowest in seven years and solely surpassed by 2020. 

Spot Charges

After a strong first quarter, flatbed spot charges have misplaced floor within the final two weeks following one other penny-per-mile lower. At $2.17/mile, the nationwide common is $0.51/mile decrease than the earlier yr and $0.13/mile decrease than in 2018.


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