The highlights from Wednesday’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.
Temperatures in the Rocky Mountain State may be warming up, but outbound tender volumes are cooling down.
Since Aug. 8, outbound tender volumes dropped 11.5%, while inbound volume levels ticked up 1.9%. This has placed inbound levels above outbound in Denver for the first time since June, knocking the Headhaul Index off of one of its higher points and kicking it down 167% to minus-10.1.
The decrease in outbound volumes is loosening capacity significantly. Rejection rates plunged roughly 570 basis points in the last week to 4.6% — the lowest they have been in Denver since 2020 and below the national average of 5.8%.
Down on the bayou, outbound volumes are looking like a dial tone. From Aug. 9-12, outbound volumes in New Orleans fell 16.5% and have flatlined ever since. Inbound volumes, on the other hand, are bobbing up and down but have fallen 4% overall since Aug. 9.
The Headhaul Index for New Orleans is down 330% overall in August, but the recent lack of any major activity puts it into something of a stalemate, remaining level at minus-18.0 for the last couple of days.
Capacity is responding to the changes in volume levels. Rejection rates are down roughly 100 bps in the last three days to 6.5%.
Much like the state’s position on gambling legislation, both inbound and outbound volumes in Alabama rise only to be repressed once again.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Montgomery saw a strong couple of weeks leading into August but then fell dramatically last week. Outbound tender volumes made a recovery turnaround of 21.3% but are now trending back down. Inbound volumes also went up 21% leading into this week but have since fallen 10.8%.
Rejections, however, remain elevated, indicating there are fewer inbound trucks to handle the recent increase in volume. The Outbound Tender Reject Index is up 75 bps so far this week to 8.7% — well above the national average.
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.
Lane to watch: New Orleans to Atlanta
Spot market rates from New Orleans to Atlanta have jumped 24 cents in the last week, likely due to the recent drop in outbound volumes in Atlanta. However, Atlanta will always be the “Empire of the South” and still retains 3.74% of the total U.S. market share in outbound tenders nationwide. Ontario, California, holds the No. 1 spot with 3.78%.
The consistent and steady level of outbound volumes brings with it a good level of probability for booking a load of your choice out of Atlanta. A return trip back to New Orleans can still score carriers $2.81 cents a mile — 13 cents above the national average.