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EFS chat recap: What SONAR reveals about the post-pandemic market

It now shows a market that is still tight but loosening slightly

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: FreightWaves SONAR for Enterprise Fleets

DETAILS: Zach Strickland of FreightWaves, known as the Sultan of SONAR, discusses how enterprise fleets can utilize some of the most basic data on the platform. 

SPEAKER: Strickland is interviewed by Michael Vincent of FreightWaves. Among other roles, Vincent is the co-host of the popular podcast WHAT THE TRUCK?!?, found on the most popular podcast platforms and on FreightWavesTV. He also is going to be hosting a new show.

BIO: Strickland curates the weekly market update and is 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, including both truckload and LTL. He has more than 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing and analytics.


“The name of the game for carriers is maintaining utilization with as big a margin as the market can handle.”

(On the pandemic): “We had an explosive amount of freight coming out of certain parts of the country, totally destabilizing the truckload network.”

“We’re going to see these supply chains, with all this disorganization, a lot of shippers are now looking at alternative ways of making sure that their inventory levels are stable and supply is available when consumer demand does have these spikes. So that means they are going to spread things out a little more evenly and not necessarily rely on the traditional pattern of looking at Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Allentown to keep their inventories in these longer haul patterns. You’re going to have to make sure you’re covering some of these regional areas out in the rural markets.” 

“Tender rejections are coming down and that means a shipper needs to rely less on the spot market for utilization. It’s not a dramatic change. Capacity is still relatively tight.”

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.