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.
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.
Tuesday’s National Truckload Index Daily: $2.87
Milwaukee to Allentown, Pennsylvania: $3.22 a mile — 822 miles
- Falling $1.05 in the last three months, spot market rates in this lane have begun to flatline at or around the current price ($3.22). As the national average for spot market rates fluctuates between $2.80 a mile and $2.95 a mile, a two-day trip for carriers can score them 35 cents above the current national average.
- Outbound tender volumes for Milwaukee are rising 6.2% week-over-week (w/w), with rejections dropping in the last seven days to 5.8%. This loosening of capacity will begin to put downward pressure on spot rates out of Milwaukee, so carriers looking to exit this market should act quickly while rates are still in their favor.
- On the other end, outbound tender volumes out of Allentown have risen 3.5% w/w, and outbound tender rejections currently are at 8.6%, providing a reliable indication that carriers can secure loads on the back end of this lane.
Detroit to New Orleans: $2.59 a mile — 1,074 miles
- After spot rates have fallen almost in direct synchronization with the national average, they still continue in a downward trajectory — currently 28 cents below the national average.
- For carriers looking to get out of the Detroit market, where outbound tender volumes are only growing 3.6% w/w and rejections have increased 145 basis points (bps) to a current 5.5% overall, keep an eye out for this lane specifically to place yourself into a booming market.
- The New Orleans market is experiencing a boom. Outbound tender volumes are climbing 12% w/w and rejections are spiking up to 24.7%, thus providing a very likely chance to book a load on the way out and putting upward pressure on spot rates out of New Orleans.
Watch: Carrier update
Chart of the week: National Truckload Index
As spot market rates are falling all across the board, keeping an eye on the rates for any possible change in direction can be viewed through SONAR. Below is a chart measuring the NTI seven-day moving average of rates; the NTI Daily (NTID) average of spot rates; NTI Business (NTIB), the average of rates specifically Monday through Friday; and NTI Linehaul (NTIL), spot market rates minus the fuel costs.
All except for NTIL move in correlation with one another. NTI, NTIB and NTID are all either the same or 1 cent higher or below the other. However, the decline has begun to show signs of slowing down. NTIL, on the other hand, is not showing these signs.
As fuel costs rise, the linehaul rate continues to drop, making it incredibly difficult for carriers to be able to make a profit after covering their expenses. Depending on which side of the transaction you’re sitting on, this could be either seen as inconsequential or the prominent factor in your decision-making.
The battle between brokers and carriers continues in the favor of the brokers. As overall volume in the U.S. has receded dramatically in the last six months, brokers now have the upper hand in rates since carriers in most markets don’t have nearly as much to choose from.