Highlights from Wednesday’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 16th:
Outgoing volumes have bottomed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at least temporarily, after falling 13% since the beginning of the month.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index fell 40 points, or 12.5%, from Nov. 1 through Friday and has since started the week up another full point to 283.36 — its lowest since April 2020. However, volume edged up Wednesday The index rose 12 points, or 4.3%, to 295.69.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is seeing a huge surge in volumes this week. Allentown is proving to be one of the more volatile markets so far this month – with most but a few others down or flat – with demand rising and falling. Outgoing tender volume rose 3.8% on Nov 3 before falling 6.6% to Saturday only to rebound 4.7% earlier this week and on Wednesday the trend starts again at 1, 1% to go down.
Rejection rates in both markets are at two-year lows. The Outbound Tender Reject Index in Harrisburg on Monday fell 135 basis points from November 1 but rose slightly by 16 basis points to 4.6% on Tuesday. Allentown’s Outbound Tender Reject Index followed a similar trend, falling 77 basis points month-to-date but rising 15 basis points to 4.2% on Tuesday.
Outbound demand from Dallas has become increasingly volatile this month as national bidding volumes are still declining.
Tender volumes from Dallas were up this time last week but remained down 7.2% on Monday from the start of the month. The Outbound Tender Volume Index fell just over 5 points, or 1.6%, to 316.53 on Tuesday.
The neighboring Fort Worth, Texas, market also saw a significant drop in demand, just with no sign of recovery. The Outbound Tender Volume Index is down 24.5 points, or 12.6%, since Nov. 1 and is flat at 168.2.
In both markets, rejection rates went into free fall this week as volumes were either unpredictable or simply falling. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Dallas is down 72 basis points week-to-date to 3% — the lowest level since May 2020. In Fort Worth, rejections fell into even more dangerous territory, falling 73 basis points to 2.1% over the same period . These incredibly low rejection rates suggest that with the steady decline in outbound volume, truckers don’t feel like they can refuse anything if they want to keep their truck moving.
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.
Track to watch: From Dallas to Greenville, South Carolina
Spot rates from Dallas to Greenville, South Carolina are currently just 1 cent below where they were at the start of the month at $2.22 per mile – 28 cents below the national average.
Outbound volume in Greenville is 5.9% higher than this time last week and rejection rates jumped to 5.5% on Wednesday, offering a good chance of booking an outbound cargo.
However, on a round trip to Dallas, rates drop significantly, dropping to $2.02 per mile. A better return trip might be to Little Rock, which currently pays $2.15 per mile. And when a load from Little Rock back to Dallas is available, average spot rates pay $2.95 per mile with a confidence score of 4.
Watch: Carrier update