Chart of the WeekInsightsNews

July trucking market off to a slower start


Chart of the Week: Outbound Tender Rejection Index USA: OTRI.USA

SOURCE: OTRI.USA. Outbound Tender Rejection Index shows % of loads that were accepted in the market vs. what was offered.


The July trucking market has started off slow, at least compared to the peak volumes that we saw at the end of the second quarter. The gradual slow down in rejections is evidence that carriers are getting less selective in the freight market versus May and June.

On April 1st, 25.4% of all load tenders in the market were being rejected by carriers. Rejections continued to fall until bottoming out in early May at 19.12% and then rapidlly ascending towards the peak on June 29 of 27%. 

OTRI.USA drop off started on July 1st,  continuing to the current level of 20.64%. This indicates that carriers are finding less desirable freight options in the market and a loosening in the capacity map. This is a normal July freight pattern that occurs every year. Auto plants shut down in mid summer and shippers take extended vacations. 

We are seeing this same trend show up in other data sets, like hourly driving utilization (SONAR:HOS11.USA) index. 

HOS11 started out with 6.57 hrs of driving per day, peaking at 6.75 hours per day on June 14. HOS11 is currently showing that drivers are running at 6.67 hours per day. Interesting enough, while the index is showing higher than early April utilization stats, we are not seeing capacity at maximum utilization (green above at 6.9 hrs per day). 

Bottom line: We should expect to see softer spot rates from DAT in their upcoming weekly report. Carriers should be less selective on load choice and more flexible on rates than what they were in June. No one should not panic, the slow down in the market is normal. Early signs of a market turn will show up in the OTRI.USA and HOS11.USA indices, which we are watching with intensity. 

The good news is that we are starting to see a lot more port activity, suggesting that shippers are advancing freight ahead of tarriff threats. We should see this volume scale through the North American inland freight map over the next few weeks. 

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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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.