SONAR Sightings: Crowds continue to plummet in Atlanta, near rock bottom in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Highlights from Tuesday’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 15:


Atlanta outperformed other markets with foreign demand rising 5.1% last week, but this week it is trending down with everyone else.

Atlanta’s Outbound Tender Volume Index fell nearly 2 points over the weekend — no big surprise — but continued to lose ground earlier in the week, falling another 7 points, or 1.7%. The decline in volume pushed Atlanta’s outbound market share down from 4.03% to 3.96%, but still well ahead of Ontario, California at 3.23%.

Rejection rates in the Southern Empire rose as volumes surged last week, rising to 3.9%, but the recent drop prompted a sharp drop. The Outbound Tender Reject Index fell 28 basis points to 3.6% as more carriers bid on their contracted cargo securing tenders.


Elizabeth, New Jersey

The volume of outbound truckloads in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is nearing yearly lows as container imports into the ports of New York and New Jersey struggle to hit their lowest levels since October of last year.

Like many other major markets across the country, Elizabeth saw a significant drop in demand for outbound truckloads in early November, falling 14.2% through November 3. Volumes were somewhat flat last week, but this week they’re taking another dip. The outbound tender volume index for Elizabeth slipped more than 12 points, or 4.5%, through the weekend and shed another 6 points, or 2.3%, on Monday, taking the index to 251.62 — its lowest reading in three months.

The seven-day moving average of US Customs ocean import shipments to the Port of New York and New Jersey fell 52.2% from Oct. 8 to Nov. 8. Since then, the average for import shipments has risen by 34.5%, but it will take time for this increase in imports to spill over into the land transport markets.

Rejection rates were high for most of the year – fluctuating between 6% and 7.5% – as East Coast ports gained more import market share, but last month’s sharp drop brought rejection rates to their lowest levels since April 2020. The Outbound Tender Reject Index has fallen 52 basis points to 3.4% since early November and is down 270 basis points over the past two months.


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.

NTI daily

Track to watch: Atlanta to Columbus, Ohio

Spot market rates from Atlanta to Columbus, Ohio, are down 9 cents since early November, but Columbus is one of the few major markets to see volume outbound up this month.

That lane currently pays $2.12 a mile — 32 cents below the national average — but foreign demand in Columbus is up 11.5% since the beginning of the month. That’s not an ideal entry rate, but it will put airlines in a better positioned market in terms of volume.

Denial rates from Columbus rose to 3.5% this week, and a round trip to Atlanta currently costs $2.96 a mile — 52 cents above the national average. If rejections continue to rise, they should add further upward pressure on spot rates from Columbus.

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