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SONAR Sightings: Chicago volume falls from 6-month high; Pennsylvania markets continue decline

The highlights from Friday’s SONAR reports are below. For more information on SONAR — the fastest freight-forecasting platform in the industry — or to request a demo, click here. Also, be sure to check out the latest SONAR update, TRAC — the freshest spot rate data in the industry.

Market Watch for Oct. 7:


Outbound demand in Chicago is steadily declining this month after reaching six-month highs in September.

The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Chicago is down more than 27 points, or 11.3%, in the last 10 days to 213. The drop in volume brought Chicago’s outbound tender market share down to 1.8%, which is still higher than the share the market held at the beginning of the year.

Chicago’s neighboring market, Joliet, Illinois, saw similar trends of declining volume at the end of September, but this month has been relatively stagnant. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Joliet is only up 1 point so far this month, with rejection rates sitting at 4.6%.

Inbound tender volumes in Chicago are trending down as well to their lowest levels since 2020. The Inbound Tender Volume Index is down 24 points since Sept. 27 to 161.1, and rejection rates in Chicago match those in Joliet at 4.6%.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.CHI, OTRI.CHI with “Dual” display

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Outbound volumes in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have been tumbling down a flight of stairs since the middle of September.

Since Sept.19 outbound demand is down 15%, leveling out for a couple of days after each drop only to fall again even more. Inbound tender volumes are trending down as well, only not quite at the same rate as outbound. The Inbound Tender Volume Index is down 9.6% since Sept. 19.

In the neighboring market of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, outbound volumes are seeing similar change in the last couple of weeks. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Harrisburg is down 28 points, or 8%, since Sept. 19, and inbound volumes are down 8.2% in the same time frame.

Rejection rates in both markets are reacting the same to the downward trend in volume, but Allentown is seeing a more significant change due to a greater decrease.

Allentown’s Outbound Tender Reject Index is down 100 basis points since Sunday to 6.2%, while in Harrisburg it is down 54 bps in the same time frame to 6.8%.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.ABE, OTVI.MDT with “Dual” display

NTI as a point of reference

The National Truckload Index is a daily look at how spot rates in specific lanes hold up in comparison to the national average, giving carriers and brokers an idea of which lanes to gravitate toward or avoid.

NTI Daily

Lane to watch: Allentown to Toledo, Ohio

Spot market rates from Allentown to Toledo are down in the last two months but are staying consistent so far this month at $2.40 a mile — 29 cents below the national average.

Allentown is seeing continuous declines in outbound volume, but Toledo is at a three-month high right now, not a bad place to be for carriers. Rejection rates out of Toledo are trending up as well this week, rising 60 bps in the last couple of days to 3.1%. The rise in rejections will put upward pressure on spot rates leaving Toledo, and a return rate to Allentown right now is paying $3.42 a mile — 73 cents above the national average.

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Corey Smith

Corey is a staff writer for FreightWaves with experience in air, intermodal and parcel operations, as well as LTL and full truckload transportation management. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis, majoring in supply chain management, and enjoys basketball, cinema and traveling.