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SONAR Sightings: Ontario, California, regains lost market share; Illinois volumes flatline

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 Oct. 24:

Ontario, California

Ontario, California, took back the No. 1 spot for outbound tender market share over the weekend after nearly a month of Atlanta holding the crown.

Outbound tender volumes in Ontario began to drop on Sept. 15 and fell 30% before bottoming out and starting a slow recovery on Oct. 9. Since Oct. 9, the Outbound Tender Volume Index in Ontario is up 41 points, or 10.2%, to 440.6, bringing Ontario’s outbound tender market share to 3.86%.

This rise corresponds to an increase in imports at the Port of Los Angeles, which climbed to their highest levels last week since mid-August.

As outbound demand continues to trend upward, capacity remains loose. The Outbound Tender Reject Index stayed consistent at 2% over the weekend, indicating that carriers are accepting their contracted freight as opposed to searching for loads in the spot market.



Volumes out of Indianapolis are continuing to decline to their lowest levels since June 2020.

Outbound demand was extremely volatile during September, rising and falling on a weekly basis, but this month it is a steady trend downhill. Since Oct. 4, the Outbound Tender Volume Index is down more than 25 points, or 13.1%. Inbound freight levels now exceed outbound demand by 4.8%, causing the Headhaul Index to dip down into the negative, where it is currently at -11.7.

The excess amount of inbound capacity plunged outbound rejection rates downward, but they found a floor over the weekend at 4.8% — their lowest since April 2020.


Joliet, Illinois

Outbound volumes from Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago were both swinging upward throughout the last week but are starting to slow down.

Truckload volumes leaving Joliet were down 4.8% from Oct. 10 to 14, but since then the Outbound Tender Volume Index is up more than 11 points, or 4.1%, and plateaued at 294.6 over the weekend. The recovery in outbound demand brought Joliet’s outbound tender market share up to 2.58%.

Chicago saw a similar trend in the last couple of weeks. Outbound volumes were down 12.2% from Oct. 2 to 12 but then started to recover. Since Oct. 12, the Outbound Tender Volume Index moved up 19.5 points, or 9.6%, with no clear up or down trajectory.

Inbound capacity, however, took an upward leap in both markets last Thursday, but only in Chicago did it continue to grow over the weekend. The increased inbound volumes in Chicago are granting more capacity to handle the increased outbound volumes, moving the Outbound Tender Reject Index up to 4.4% over the weekend. Meanwhile, as inbound volumes to Joliet slowed down over the weekend, rejection rates dropped to 4.1% as there was less available capacity.


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

Lane to watch: Indianapolis to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Spot market rates from Indianapolis to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have been consistent the last two months and are currently paying $3.22 a mile on average — 65 cents above the national average — and are given a confidence score of 3 in TRAC.

Outbound volumes from Harrisburg saw a 1.5% increase over the weekend with rejection rates floating at 6.8%. This gives a good indication that carriers can book a load afterward, and the rise in rejection rates will put upward pressure on spot rates leaving Harrisburg.

Market Dashboard

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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.