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. 22:
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Capacity is loosening in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as the weekly average of imports to the Port of New York and New Jersey is trending down.
The seven-day moving average for the U.S. Customs Maritime Import Shipments fell 9% this week, but outbound truckload volume in Elizabeth hasn’t seen the drop yet. This import data in FreightWaves SONAR comes before the port authority officially reports import volumes in their monthly summary.
Last week’s imports are still entering the truckload market, evident by the Outbound Tender Volume Index — which is also a seven-day moving average — for Elizabeth increasing more than six points this week, or 2.5%. The majority of the loads being moved in Elizabeth are local, or less than 100 miles, which consist of those being moved from the port to offsite local warehouses.
Rejection rates show a more volatile and up-to-date trend, and they have been trending downward throughout the week. The Outbound Tender Reject Index in Elizabeth dropped 60 basis points (bps) this week to 5.4%, indicating that carriers are settling back into their contracted tender agreements.
Outbound volumes from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are trending down this week, bringing rejection rates down with them.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Harrisburg is down 4.8% since Monday but still remains on par with previous months. Long-haul outbound tender volumes — loads moving more than 800 miles — reached a six-month high leading into this week.
“We have seen month-over-month increases in our overall volume and seeing more volume in longer haul corridors and less staying in the northeastern market,” said Colin McChesney, business analytics manager at Axle Logistics.
However, this week’s decrease in volumes has capacity sticking with their contracts to secure loads with better rates. The Outbound Tender Reject Index is down 80 bps to 6.6% — the lowest percentage since 2020.
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.
Supply chain tech stock update
Companies in the MerQube FreightWaves Supply Chain Tech Index must have a minimum market cap of $500 million and a minimum average daily value traded of $3 million.
The price return index — which measures the actual stock price — is down 8.3% in the past week. When the stock price falls, total returns. including the dividends paid to shareholders, will follow suit, causing a direct correlation between the two and resulting in total returns for supply chain technology stocks to also drop 8.3%. Whereas the S&P 500 is down 4%.
Global maritime booking volume
Global maritime booking volumes are continuing their decline that began over the summer.
Since July 1, booking volumes from all ports globally are down 33.7% when this would normally be the peak season for ocean shipments.
FreightWaves’ founder and CEO Craig Fuller wrote in an article Thursday, “High-frequency freight market data enables you to see the goods economy months before everyone else. FreightWaves pioneered these data sets over the past several years, and we are just starting to learn their full ability in helping to track the massively opaque global goods economy.”
What this data tells us is that it is not just imports to the U.S. that are slowing down but trade shipments around the world. This alludes to the expectation made earlier this week by FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam that he expects the economy to enter a “worldwide recession”.
A good way to measure shipper urgency is by their lead times. If there is less freight being exported, then shippers will decrease lead times because of increased available capacity. On Aug. 1, average tender lead times were 11.3 days; Thursday, they are at 9.1 days. Again, this is normally the time where maritime shipments would be ramping up into peak season.