Over the past week, FreightWaves has released a handful of new indices in its SONAR platform in the categories of risk management and compliance data and energy. SONAR subscribers will now be able to see additional types of violations reported to the FMCSA on a monthly basis by state including the following:
· Hazardous materials—VIOHZM
· Unsafe driving—VIOUSD
· Vehicle maintenance—VIOVMA
In addition to this, FreightWaves has also added a ratio of violations to inspections where you can see which states have the highest rates of getting a citation when getting inspected. This information will allow carriers to see which states have the highest likelihood of getting inspected and what they look for.
SONAR also has the spread of retail fuel cost to wholesale or “rack” price—FUELS. This index is the difference between the price that is advertised at gas stations and truck stops and the wholesale price that retailers and certain carriers pay off the rack at the refineries. The significance of this is the impact to carrier margins when the rack price increases and the retail price stays flat or drops due to the retail rate being set on the rack price at the time of purchase. Carriers set their fuel surcharges on the retail price but will buy on the current rack rate. To read more about his impact click here. This is a daily value available in all the U.S. markets.
SONAR has also added another index to the rail data in the form of total weekly carloads (RTOTC). This is the summation of total carloads (not intermodal) in originated in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The relationship between rail traffic and trucking is clear to anyone that has worked in the freight industry as the two work in conjunction. Having additional rail data not only gives an idea of broader economic activity, but paired with trucking information can tell you more about what the segments of the transportation markets are doing.