Load availability

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by blessedman, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. blessedman

    blessedman Light Load Member

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    Feb 15, 2013
    Doniphan, Mo
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    I recently switched to van from flatbed due to health issues. Back during the great recession, as some call it, I was pulling a van because flatbed had really dried up at the time.

    At that time the rates for van were low but I did not have much trouble finding loads. Maybe I'm just more picky now but it seems to me there are less van loads now than there were during the recession.

    At first I thought it's just that I'm in a slow area but there seem to be a lot of slow areas. From the Rockies to the Mississippi river and the southeast as well. I haven't been running much in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio or the New England states. Maybe that is where the freight is.

    What are you seeing?
     
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  3. Jimmbuds

    Jimmbuds Medium Load Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    Freight for flatbed is down drastically, in fact if I am not mistaking it is down 63% this year from last year. Why, I dont know. I have only hauled 48 loads this year for about 30,000 miles, pathetic. I choose not to haul for cheap rates. I am located in the southeast and I go out to all points north, northwest and west of me, no eastern seaboard and no northeast (or very very seldom).

    I am in one of the better places for Flatbed freight but everything is drying up. My local contacts are slow for Fabricated Steel, I guess no one is building. I just found out a major steel mill up in town is shutting its blast furnace down. The company just put 1,100 workers out of work, not to mention the freight that we have lost. There reasoning behind it cheap steel prices from overseas (China). Thanks China!

    I have been saying it for the past year and a half, I thought we have been coming out of a recession not going into one. I was running more freight and making more money in 2012 and 2013 than I am today by a long shot. Blame it on the elections but I call Bullcrap.

    As a side note, I have seen that van freight down 44% this year from last year.
     
  4. Jimmbuds

    Jimmbuds Medium Load Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    Also seen where available capacity is up right now. Definitely not a good situation, and I don't see it getting any better this year, only worse.
     
  5. Jimmbuds

    Jimmbuds Medium Load Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    I am surprised more people aren't talking about this. All owner operators should be concerned, or they just don't care.
     
    Big_D409 Thanks this.
  6. Getrdunn

    Getrdunn Bobtail Member

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    Sep 20, 2012
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    I'm thinking the same thing....
     
  7. powerhousescott

    powerhousescott Medium Load Member

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    Jun 17, 2015
    Pecuiar, MO
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    They are too busy running their fool heads off for the cheap freight that is paying .76 - $1.15 per mile. The rest of us are parked or are being picky and running fewer loads. That is why is does not matter to us.
     
    Frankstein and Ok big boy Thank this.
  8. Jimmbuds

    Jimmbuds Medium Load Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    You mean matter to them?
     
  9. ReeferOhio

    ReeferOhio Medium Load Member

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Ohio
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    I brought this up months ago about the influx of Chinese steel at the ports and got push back that I was to picky. I don't run the ports I run out of local steel mills and fab shops around the Ohio valley! Flatbed in general has been bad all year. I'm lucky though I have direct clients for flatbed and van freight but it's even a fight to keep busy, my competition likes to drop rates to keep moving then I get the call. To bad my rates are my rates for my service. You can always go down but can't go back up to the original rate.
     
    RERM Thanks this.
  10. powerhousescott

    powerhousescott Medium Load Member

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    Jun 17, 2015
    Pecuiar, MO
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    No I mean to us, the ones that run like I do. The rest of you can continue to pull that cheap stuff. Like ReeferOhio said once you go down it is hard to go back up. Those of us that know that will not pull the cheap loads, it degrades the market. Their is still plenty of freight out there, just less good paying freight.
     
  11. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    Mar 29, 2008
    TN
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    I mentioned to some friends back in June how slow it felt. Normally from March to July 4th I am busy, busy, busy. I always got home weekly but my weekends were short and quick. This year during that period I sometimes didn't book out until tuesday, Wednesday or even Thursday afternoon.

    I lost count if how many 2 and 3 work day "work weeks" I had. I could tell volume was way down and rates were difficult to come by. I was trending well though because when I was booking I was aggresively hammering to make up shortfalls. To mid point of the year I trended at a better average than last year but several thousand gross less.

    I'm expecting 2nd half of the year to be much more difficult than last year. I don't care what the Facebook experts say or think I saw a slowdown last year compared to previous years - contrary to popular opinion 2014, while better than this year, was not near as good as 2012 and 2013 wild wild west days. But maybe that was of my own doing people tired of me and my rates. Seen that a lot over the years too. I expect to gross about the same as I did last year on about the same miles.

    Like you I am also at 30,000 miles for the year but I hit it at the end of June. It is a normal amount of miles for me at that point. And 3rd quarter is always a throw away quarter for me. It sucks but the longer the pain goes on the better off we'll be if we're still standing when the dust settles.
     
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