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SONAR Sightings for July 8: Volumes out of Indianapolis continue to fall after holiday dip

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

The Midwest is where many companies strategically place their distribution centers in order to ship east or west. Indiana, in particular, houses more than 11,000 warehouses.

Indianapolis experienced one of the most significant drops in volume after the holiday of any other market its size. 

The Outbound Tender Volume Index fell on the Fourth of July as expected, but it has since continued to drop and is currently valued at 236.4.

Rejections, however, have been on the rise since the holiday. Indianapolis’ Outbound Tender Volume Rejection Index has risen 115 basis points. As these rejections continue to climb, it is evident that capacity has reduced within the market.

In a normal holiday pattern, carriers will take extra time off in the days after with an expectation for volumes to drop — a belief proven to be well founded.

Given the tightening of capacity, outbound tender lead times also increased through the holiday. Jumping up to just over three days, shippers will extend these lead times to make sure their freight is covered while capacity shrinks — at least temporarily.


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

Watch: Freightonomics

Lane to watch: Indianapolis to Columbia, South Carolina

Spot market rates within this lane have been dropping throughout the year but seem to have found a floor between $2.90 and $3 per mile. In just over one transit day, carriers can make equal to the national average for spot rates with a good chance of booking a load after the job is done.

In Columbia, the Headhaul Index is currently valued at 52, signifying that there are more outbound loads than inbound. In addition, the Outbound Tender Rejection Index has risen just over 100 bps in the last couple of days as well to a current value of 7.1% overall. Since volumes were rising ahead of the holiday, this provides the evident probability of booking a load after being unloaded at the destination.


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.