Highlights of Friday’s SONAR reports are below. For more information on SONAR – the industry’s fastest freight forecasting platform – or to request a demo, click here. Be sure to stop by too the latest SONAR update, TRAC — the most recent industry spot rate data.
Market observation for November 11th:
Greensboro, North Carolina
As Tropical Depression Nicole weaves its way up the east coast, crowds and denials aren’t responding quite as drastically as previous severe weather storms have. Markets in the Carolinas, Virginia and Pennsylvania are all seeing mild reactions in reject rates, but these rejections are correlated with a volatility in volume, suggesting markets are continuing the storm path as usual.
In Greensboro, North Carolina, rejection rates soared this week as foreign demand crawled out of a two-year low. The Outbound Tender Volume Index climbed just over 9 points, or 16.4%, to 63.26. Inbound volume, on the other hand, remains relatively flat but rose on Friday, surpassing outbound volume by just 1.2%. The small divergence between the two pushed the headhaul index down nearly 3 points to minus 0.73.
Rejection rates rose sharply earlier in the week as outbound volume picked up, but are trending back down as demand slows into the weekend. The Outbound Tender Reject Index gained 191 basis points to 5.8% on Thursday but fell to 5.6% on Friday morning.
Foreign demand in Norfolk, Virginia, fell to its lowest level since May 2020 earlier in the month, heralded a recovery and then fell right back to its low.
Norfolk’s outbound volume fell 19.5% from Oct. 25 to last Saturday but recovered 6.3% earlier this week. The Outbound Tender Volume Index then fell nearly 2 points, or 5.9%, to 28.73 since Tuesday — still its lowest reading since May 2020.
While volumes from Norfolk declined, inbound capacity increased. From October 26 to November 3, inbound tender volumes increased by 18.8% before declining by 14.3% from November 3.
As more capacity flooded the market while overseas demand fell, rejection rates fell quickly. Norfolk’s Outbound Tender Reject Index fell 142 basis points since late October to 2% on Tuesday but rose to 2.1% on Friday as demand for outbound travel fell and hauliers likely tried to get their trucks out of the winds from 15 to Stay out of 25mph.
Demand from the Steel City exploded this week after falling to a two-year low this time last month.
The volume of cargo tendered abroad fell by 22% from 14 September to 11 October and remained consistently low during the second half of October. On Sunday, however, Pittsburgh’s Outbound Tender Volume Index rose nearly 25 points, or 25.8%, to 121.12 — the highest since March.
Inbound capacity is up 11% since the beginning of the month but is trending down towards the weekend. The decline in inbound capacity has brought the gap between inbound and outbound volumes down to just 3.1%, pushing the headhaul index up almost 17 points to minus 3.8 – the highest reading since April 2020.
Rejection rates remained at or around 2.5% while outbound volume stagnated and airlines scoured the spot market for better fares and opportunities, but have fallen this week as airlines receive and accept more contracted bids. The Outbound Tender Reject Index is down 52 bps to 2% since Sunday.
NTI as a reference point
The National Truckload Index is a daily look at how spot rates are holding up in specific lanes compared to the national average, giving truckers and brokers an idea of which lanes to lean toward or avoid.
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