Spot Market Rates and Shipping Demand Decreases in July as the Market Corrects Itself

June was a challenging month for flatbed truck companies as we reported last month. Flatbed trucking companies had to sift through a market where spot truckload rates hit all-time highs and capacity struggled to meet flatbed shipping company demands.

Pressure within the market continued during the month of July despite some easing in terms of capacity and rates. Flatbed transportation rates remained the same from the end of June into the first week of July, holding at $2.82 a mile. The second and third weeks saw a decline in rates as the seasonal trend continued with rates falling to $2.80 and then $2.79 respectively. Flatbed rates have remained consistent with only a couple cents decrease. Reefer rates have declined this month, starting at $2.69 from June, the rates sharply increased during the week of fourth of July, increasing to $2.77. The following week saw a correction again as the holiday wrapped up with rates falling back down to $2.70. Currently Reefer rates are at $2.65 and expected to continue to decrease. Van rates experienced a stagnation in rates with a similar story occurring during the fourth of July week with rates increasing from $2.32 at the end of June to $2.45 during the first week of the month. Rates again saw a correction for the second week of July at $2.38 and continuing to decline, falling to $2.33. July has been a challenging month for flatbed truck companies due to the holiday season with the fourth of July putting pressure on rates in the market, causing them to increase. Coupled with a decrease in truck-to-load ratios across the board for Vans, Reefers, and Flatbeds. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds fell for the fourth week in a row, decreasing to 52.9 loads per truck. Still a high ratio but it is nearly half the early-June ratios of 109 loads per truck. There has also been declines in the number of flatbed loads available and a decline in truck posts. Georgia shipping companies among other states in the Southeastern region of the country reaped some benefits from July’s trends as rates declined if only for cents on the dollar. As the summer begins to come to an end it is expected for rates to continue to fall. It has been a challenging couple of months in the transportation industry due to rates reaching all-time highs, capacity issues with load-to-truck ratios, and the Safe Driver Week initiative which added further pressure to drivers and shippers alike. We will continue to see how flatbed truck company are impacted as August kicks off.