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SONAR Sightings: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, gains market share; flatbed rejections nose-dive

The highlights from Thursday’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 for Sept. 15:

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has experienced a boom in outbound volume to become the third-largest truckload market in the country by market share.

Outbound volumes are up 3% in the past couple of days after making a full recovery from the holiday drop. The increased volume bumped Harrisburg’s outbound tender market share up to 3.0%, rising above Dallas and Houston, which both have 2.9%, respectively.

Rejections hit a two-year low leading into this week, but the rise in volume brought the Outbound Tender Reject Index up 45 basis points (bps) to 7.4%, indicating that there is not enough inbound capacity to handle the outbound flow of volume.

The neighboring market of Allentown, Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has seen a significant decrease in outbound volumes. These two markets usually move in sync with one another, but since Monday the Outbound Tender Volume Index for Allentown is down 5.5%, bringing market share down with it from 2.7% to 2.4%.

Outbound tender rejections in Allentown spiked in response to the decrease in tender volumes, surging nearly 130 bps to 8.2%. The rise in rejection rates signifies that carriers are rejecting their contracted freight and searching the spot market to book loads.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.MDT, OTVI.ABE

Savannah, Georgia

In the Southeast, imports to the Port of Savannah, Georgia, remain at record highs, expecting to move more than 6 million TEUs this fiscal year. 

The boom in imports to the southeastern port has caused the Outbound Tender Volume Index for Savannah to see exponential growth, rising 25.5% this week to a six-month high of 125.6. 

Despite the major increase in volume, capacity remains consistent. The Outbound Tender Reject Index for Savannah is up 45 bps this week to 4%, indicating that carriers are, for the most part, sticking with their contract tendered freight.

SONAR Tickers: CSTM.SAV, OTVI.SAV with “Dual” display

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

Flatbed tender rejections

Truckload volumes and rejections give a good indication of the retail sector — typical consumer goods such as televisions — but the flatbed market provides insight to the industrial economy.

Construction shipments for housing and big-ticket manufacturing like airplane parts are moved by flatbed. The retail and household consumer goods demand was felt almost immediately at the start of the pandemic, but it took some time for the larger items to make their way through the industry.

It wasn’t until the beginning of 2022 that the flatbed market peaked, then as the industrial side of the economy slowed, rejection rates took a dive. The chart below shows that almost as soon as flatbed rejections began to decline, total housing stats started going down right along with them.

Flatbed rejection rates reached nearly 45% at the start of March but are now down to 14.7%.

SONAR Tickers: FOTRI.USA, HOUS.USA with “Dual” display

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Corey Smith

Corey is a staff writer for FreightWaves covering SONAR updates. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis, majoring in supply chain management. He has experience in air, intermodal and parcel operations, as well as LTL and full truckload transportation management. He enjoys basketball, cinema and traveling.