Inside SONARNewsSONAR Market Update

SONAR Sightings: Illinois reefer volumes spike; Houston port sees record numbers; China imports continue to slide

The highlights from Monday’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. 19:

Joliet, Illinois

Reefer volumes out of Joliet, Illinois, reached a six-month high after bouncing back from a Labor Day plunge.

The Reefer Outbound Tender Volume Index is up just over 2 points, or 4.1%, since last Tuesday and plateauing right around 70. This marks the highest point the index has seen since March.

Capacity in the reefer market has tightened in response to the rise in volumes. The Reefer Outbound Tender Reject Index is up 35 basis points (bps) to 6.1%, catching up to the national average for reefer rejections of 6.9%.

SONAR Tickers: ROTVI.JOT, ROTRI.JOT with “Dual” display


Most markets across the country, such as Atlanta and Chicago, are experiencing less outbound volume than they were at the beginning of the year, but markets like Houston are seeing steady increases in outbound volume. For Houston in particular, the increased volume levels can be credited to imports being distributed to other ports in order to ease pressure in Southern California.

Port Houston brought in a record number of 382,842 twenty-foot equivalent units in August. This increase in imported volumes has brought Houston back to life, pushing the Outbound Tender Volume Index up 32% since April to match 2021 levels. In addition, port import market share for the Port of Houston is also up from 6.1% in June to 6.6% at the end of August.

Rejection rates in Houston have been elevated over the last six months, reaching a high of 7.75% in August. While these rejection rates are above the national average, the fact that they aren’t higher is surprising and provides an indication that capacity is handling the increased amount of volume.

SONAR Tickers: CSTEU.USHOU, OTVI.HOU 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

Maritime rates

Containerized spot market rates per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) container continued to slide leading into the weekend.

On Friday, Freightos Baltic Daily Index marked average spot rates per FEU from China to the West Coast of the United States at $3,799 — almost $350 less than the day before. Spot rates to the East Coast also saw a drop, falling roughly $315 in the same time period to $8,344.

Overall containerized exports from China to ports around the world are down 60.5% since Jan. 30. With China’s recent move to ally with Russia, along with President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, countries around the world are likely to search for production elsewhere.
In an article by FreightWaves’ Mark Solomon, a report developed by New York University’s Stern School of Business and German transport and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group forecasts that China’s share of global trade growth — imports and exports — will drop to 13% from 2022-26 compared to 26% from 2016-21.

SONAR Tickers: FBXD.CNAW, FBXD.CNAE with “Dual” display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.