SONAR Sightings: Volume in Major Markets Plunges Heading towards Holidays

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 Watch for Nov 9th:


Dallas overseas demand continues to slump, hitting lowest level since February 2021.

As with most major markets this quarter, Dallas volumes began falling in early November and are still trending down. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for the Texas hub is down more than 36 points, or 10.5%, to 310.23.

The volume of incoming tenders is also trending downwards. The Inbound Tender Volume Index in Dallas fell nearly 10 points, or 3.6%, to 256.55 over the past week — the lowest reading since April 2020.

With most of Dallas’ volume decline attributed to volume egress, the headhaul index fell more than 19 points since Saturday to 53.68 — the lowest reading since February 2021.

The decline in egress volume took Dallas’ market share down to 2.8% from more than 3% earlier in the month, still trailing Atlanta and Ontario, California.

Rejection rates have also fallen to their lowest levels since April 2020. After declining earlier in the month when volumes began to fall, they are now relatively stable at 4% this week as carriers essentially automatically accept their contracted freight to secure cargo.



Continuing the trend of major markets seeing sharp falls in foreign demand, Detroit posted record highs over the summer, but the fourth quarter has brought volume levels back to pre-summer levels.

The Outbound Tender Volume Index for the Motor City fell nearly 75 points, or 25.2%, through Friday and another 15 points since then to 206.87.

Inbound tender volumes have also declined significantly this month. The Inbound Tender Volume Index went into free fall earlier in the month and has fallen more than 92 points, or 29.1%, to 224.64 since Nov. 2.

However, rejection rates remain unaffected by the volume declines. In the month of October, outbound volumes saw only 0.23% growth, which brought rejections down to 1% on the 18th, where they have remained and currently stand at 1.1%.


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

One of the larger headhaul markets in the Northeast is also not safe from the fourth-quarter volume decline.

Foreign demand in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, fell 3.8% through November and only fell further thereafter. The Outbound Tender Volume Index nosedived on Nov. 1, falling more than 28 points, or 8.6%, to 297.29 through Thursday. Since then, the index hasn’t even risen a full point and currently stands at 298.0.

The neighboring Allentown, Pennsylvania market is also seeing volume declines, just not as sharply. The volume of outgoing tenders fell by 5.2% this month and by another 2.2% since November 2nd.

Rejection rates in both markets follow similar trends. The Outbound Tender Reject Index for Harrisburg fell 62 basis points to 5.3% this week. Meanwhile, rejections in Allentown fell 65 basis points to 4.2% over the same period.


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

Watch: Carrier update

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