The highlights from Tuesday’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.
Jacksonville tender volumes are rising and crashing like the waves of its beaches so far in August. Since the start of the month, outbound tender volumes are up 10% but have started a downward trend in the last couple of days. Inbound volumes, on the other hand, are down 8% since the start of the month and are following an even steeper downward trajectory.
Inbound volumes may have exceeded outbound volumes from February through April of this year, but overall since 2018, Jacksonville is a headhaul market. The recent increase in outbound volumes has launched its Headhaul Index to a 335% rise this month to plus-31.3 — its highest level since this time last year.
However, there appears to be plenty of truckload capacity to handle the recent increase in outbound volumes, evident by the fact that rejection rates have trickled downward while volumes are rising. Since July 24, rejections have dropped 360 basis points to 8.4%.
Salt Lake City
In the wild west, outbound volumes have declined 11% since Aug. 2, while inbound volumes have remained consistent so far this month, plateauing like the landscape that surrounds the market at 130.1 on the Inbound Tender Volume Index.
Salt Lake City has been topsy-turvy from a headhaul market to a backhaul market over the past year but as of now is in a backhaul position. Inbound freight levels are floating above (but not too high) outbound volumes, putting downward momentum on the Headhaul Index, decreasing 144.8% to minus-4.67.
Capacity is loosening and rejection rates have remained elevated — relatively speaking for this market — at 3.5% and on a slight decline.
Some 2,100 miles to the east, Allentown is experiencing a steady stream of increased volume levels. So far this month, Allentown has seen a 12.8% increase in outbound tenders and a 12.5% increase in inbound loads. A fortified headhaul market, Allentown’s Headhaul Index increased 13.8% since August 2, bringing it to its highest value since September 2022 at plus-116.3.
Its neighboring market, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has flatlined in outbound volumes but shown an increase in inbound volumes. Since Aug. 1, inbound freight volumes have increased 8%, while outbound volumes have decreased 1% in the same time frame. The lopsidedness has slumped Harrisburg’s Headhaul Index to plus-3.7 and into a steep downward trajectory.
However, rejection rates in both markets have responded the same to very different trends. Both reached above 8.5% on Aug. 5, only to drop roughly 50 bps to place Allentown at 8.1% and Harrisburg at 8.2% — both still above the national average of 6.1%.
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: Columbus, Ohio to Allentown
Spot market rates in this lane remained consistent through July and are holding up into August. Currently paying $3.70 a mile with a confidence score of 4, carriers can bring in 95 cents higher than the national average, and with the increase in outbound volumes from Allentown, booking a load at the end of the road can be expected.
Although a return trip to Columbus brings the spot market rate down significantly to $2.51 a mile, this still places carriers close enough to the national average in less than one full transit day at only 450 miles.