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FreightWaves SONAR releases new tools to measure the domestic truckload market

Market Dashboard+ (MD+) is a multi-lane analysis tool designed to empower bid management, frequent-lane monitoring and corridor trend visualization.

FreightWaves SONAR recently released two new market analysis tools that provide lane-level rate benchmarking capabilities and insight into the future state of the domestic truckload spot market. 

Market Dashboard+ (MD+), announced during the Future of Freight Festival earlier this month, is a multi-lane analysis tool designed to empower bid management, frequent-lane monitoring and corridor trend visualization. SONAR customers will be able to upload any lanes they choose in bulk format and analyze in the application or through exported data.

Market Dashboard+ builds off the original Market Dashboard tool that is powered by the Trusted Rate Assessment Consortium (TRAC) and focuses on spot rate data in a single lane. Bulk rate information is not the only new addition.  

Some of the other new features include:

  • Bulk analysis of rates by lane (via bulk CSV upload or manual in-line entry)
  • Contract and spot rate comparison with high and low values
  • Contextual data based on tenders

Leveraging more/variant data empowers users to understand negotiation strength, overarching pricing strategies and volatile markets. Users can use this as a benchmarking tool for rates but also see their direction. The contextual data can also provide deeper insights on lane conditions from a capacity standpoint. All the data is available to export into a spreadsheet for deeper analysis. 

(Chart: FreightWaves SONAR. National Truckload Index Forecast. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here). 

The NTI Forecast — NTIF is a 28-day forecast of the current NTI based on dry van loads moving more than 250 miles. The forecast is based on more than just historical rates and includes high-frequency inputs from data points such as customs, wholesale fuel price and contract rates. Rigorous data science and machine learning was used to identify which data had the most predictive qualities and was back-tested to find an overall correlation of 85 for the full 28 days, a 99 from one to seven days. 


The primary use for a spot rate forecast is to visualize trends in the trucking space, whether you are a:

  • shipper, looking to manage a volatile transportation budget
  • carrier who is trying to project shippers’ capacity needs
  • broker who simply needs to know how tight or loose the market will be in the coming weeks.

The NTIF provides an objective data point to support near-term planning. 

FreightWaves also provides historical predictive values from 28 (NTIF28), 14 (NTIF14) and seven days (NTIF7) to show accuracy. 

(Chart: FreightWaves SONAR. National Truckload Index Forecast. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here). 

The NTIF will be continuously improved, and if predictions vary too far from the actual result, the variables and weights will be adjusted to meet usable levels of confidence. 

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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.