Chart of the WeekInsightsNews

Nearly 30% of trucks went off-duty for July 4th: SONAR chart of the week


Chart of the Week: Trucks in Market (SONAR: TRUK.USA) 



Holidays always impact capacity in the market, with different theories to how much capacity leaves the market on a given holiday. The biggest drop off in capacity can be felt on July 4th, Thanksgiving, and the December holiday stretch of Christmas to New Years.

Easter, Memorial Day, and Labor day also show a sizeable drop off in drivers willing to drive in the market the holiday.  

The good news for freight market technicians is we can actually track the total amount of trucks in the market on given day using ELDs. Our team studied how Easter, Memorial Day, and July 4th impacted total capacity in the market. 

To chart this out, we use the “Trucks in Market” ticker (TRUK) which tracks total trucks across the market, by market area. Since we want to see the entire market, we will use the .USA qualifier. Additionally, TRUK is currently set on the fortnight delta in SONAR, meaning that it reflects a two-week look back. Soon, the SONAR team will be releasing different time deltas, meaning you can look back from a week, two week, or month. For now, the fortnight look back is really valuable. The current ticker on SONAR is: TRUK.USA

Here is what we learned: 

Over the Easter holiday, the TRUK.USA index shows 91.20%, meaning that 8.8% of trucks took time off during the holiday. 

Memorial day was far more impactful, with the index dropping down to 79.32%, creating an approximate 21% drop-off in trucks available for shippers. 

July 4th represented the biggest drop of the three, with the index dropping to 73.08%. The capacity dropping off by nearly 30% shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Every year, no matter what the freight market is doing, July 4th is known for fireworks, hot dogs, and a challenge in finding trucks available for dispatch.

About Chart of the Week

The FreightWaves Chart of the Week is a chart selection from SONAR that provides an interesting data point to describe the state of the freight markets. A chart is chosen from thousands of potential charts on SONAR to help participants visualize the freight market in real-time. Each week the Sultan of SONAR will post a chart, along with commentary live on the front-page. After that, the Chart of the Week will be archived on for future reference.

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  1. I think that one also finds that July 4th has drivers at home to offset the busiest weekend of the year; the end of month, end of quarter, end of fiscal year weekend of June 30th. Always the worst week of the year for freight movement, drivers are typically brought back home or allowed to sit on the 4th.

  2. This is nothing new . Elds are the big problem now .dot now has all the drivers out in the daytime running . no parking spaces after 3 pm this is crazy it’s not a job anymore it’s a race against the clock I’m out here trying to make a living not run someone over

  3. I’m shocked more drivers are not home and the company’s they work for have drivers you only have one life to live enjoy it with your family that’s the reason your out there in the first place!!

Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert & Market Analyst

Zach Strickland, the “Sultan of SONAR,” curates the weekly market update. Zach is also one of FreightWaves’ Market Experts. With a degree in Finance, Strickland spent the early part of his career in banking before transitioning to transportation in various roles and segments, such as truckload and LTL. He has over 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing, and analytics.