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SONAR Sightings for Aug. 15: Tender rejections in Memphis, Tennessee, hit lowest point since 2020

The highlights from Monday’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

Memphis, Tennessee

Outbound tender volumes in Memphis are up this month, but capacity has tightened significantly. 

Since Aug. 6, outbound volumes from Memphis have risen 10.3%, while inbound tender volumes climbed 5.3%. Outbound tender rejections, on the other hand, are down 260 basis points to 4.2% over the same time period. This is the lowest the outbound tender rejection rate has been since April 2020. As a headhaul market with a Haul score of 85.4, the increase in tender volumes coupled with decrease in rejections indicate contract rates out of Memphis are much more attractive than the spot market.

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

San Antonio

In the largest backhaul market in Texas last week, we saw outbound volumes exceed inbound volumes for the first time on record since 2018, but outbound volumes went into a free fall over the weekend. The Outbound Tender Volume Index dropped 22.4% since last Thursday, bringing tender volume levels to their lowest in the last 60 days and settling the market back into its backhaul disposition. 

San Antonio’s neighboring market of Austin, Texas, experienced a similar trend. While outbound volumes started to drop in San Antonio, volumes out of Austin hung in the air for a couple of days but then followed suit by dropping 28%.

The repositioning of inbound volumes exceeding outbound volumes in San Antonio has pushed the Headhaul Index down 809% since Aug. 11 to minus-16.7.

During this time, however, rejections rates started to rise. Outbound tender rejections out of San Antonio went up 105 bps since Aug. 8 to 3% — the highest value since May.



August is so far proving to be a good month for outbound tender volumes in Philadelphia — and the trend appears to be continuing. Since Aug. 2, the Outbound Tender Volume Index for Philadelphia is up 28.8% and is still pointed in an upward trajectory.

Meanwhile, inbound tenders, for the most part, remained stagnant. This has caused the Headhaul Index for Philadelphia to soar to its highest level on record since 2018, climbing 440.1% since Aug. 3 to 30.5.

The consistent increase in outbound freight volumes pushed rejection rates up roughly 125 bps in only a couple of days, and the rejection rate has remained above 7% for almost two whole weeks.


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: Atlanta to Philadelphia

A trip up the East Coast from Atlanta to Philadelphia is now paying $3.08 a mile — 48 cents above the national average. With a confidence score of 3, providing a decent amount of volatility in spot rates, carriers can rack up a great chunk of change with a likely chance of booking a load afterward due to outbound volumes in Philadelphia on the rise.

Market Dashboard

Watch: Carrier update

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.