Morgan Stanley's flatbed freight index indicates greater flatbed capacity availability than normal for this time of year. In 2011, 2010, and 2008 capacity tightened significantly beginning early Q2. While signs had been pointing to greater capacity constraints, the last few weeks have seen the curve flatten compared to the last couple of years. Given the ongoing growth of manufacturing and the strength of automotive sales, it remains possible that flatbed capacity will tighten significantly later in the second quarter. The flatbed market was particularly hard hit by the fall off in housing starts, but gained ground with the growth in U. S. manufacturing. The index measures incremental demand for flatbed truckload services compared to incremental supply. The higher the index the tighter is capacity relative to demand when compared to a prior period.