Last June, the national flatbed load-to-truck ratio was 24.8. DAT considered the surge in flatbed trucking as the result of increased construction activity. Spot reefer volumes also rose to 4.5% from May to June because of the increase in seasonal produce. According to DAT, there were more freight than trucks on their DAT One load board network.
According to DAT Chief of Analytics Ken Adamo, June slipped to its usual seasonal pattern for truckload freight volume relative to the volatility of March, April and May. June performed according to predictions and expectations. Dry van spot rates were above $1.80 per mile excluding fuel surcharges. This is about 10 cents higher compared to same period in 2017 and 2019. Refrigerated freight had its highest monthly average since 2015. This is welcome news for carriers particularly since June has provided some form of stability for the truckload markets.
Adamo also said that it is difficult to determine whether reefer and dry conditions are back to pre-Covid19 levels because the last pre-Covid19 month was February which is traditionally the slowest month of the year for truckload freight. June is one of the busiest months but if you will compare June 2020 to June 2019, reefer and dry van freight volumes and rates are the same as last year. However, 2019 was a lacklustre year for trucking although it is considered normal by some accounts.
The biggest concerns will be spot prices and volumes as related to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the things to watch out for is general inconsistencies among states and counties in reopening economies according to their own guidelines. Inconsistencies can create uncertainty but not all segments of the freight economy will be affected. If the health crisis continues, expect consumer spending to plummet. Carriers will only have sustained recovery once consumers are financially stable.
It is important for a client to be confident when hiring flatbed trucking to transport goods and equipment. Clients want accurate tracking and real-time reporting until the cargo reaches its destination. Clients also want the guarantee that top-of-the-industry equipment will be used in loading. Request for a quote to know whether the rate is competitive enough for your needs.