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SONAR Sightings: Volume bottoms out in Pennsylvania; Dallas rejections plunge

The highlights from Wednesday’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 Nov. 16:

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Outbound volumes are, at least temporarily, bottoming out in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, after falling 13% since the start of the month.

The Outbound Tender Volume Index dropped 40 points, or 12.5%, from Nov. 1 to Friday and started the week down another whole point since then to 283.36 — its lowest value since April 2020. Volumes took a slight rise on Wednesday, however, and the index gained 12 points, or 4.3%, to 295.69.

Allentown, Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is seeing an immense upward swing in volumes this week. Allentown is proving to be one of the more volatile markets so far this month — as most others are declining or stagnant with exceptions — with demand rising up and plunging back down. Outbound tender volumes were up 3.8% on Nov. 3 before dropping 6.6% by Saturday, only to climb 4.7% back up at the start of this week, and Wednesday are starting to trend back downward by 1.1%.

Rejection rates in both markets are at a two-year low. The Outbound Tender Reject Index in Harrisburg was down 135 basis points from Nov. 1 on Monday but edged up slightly 16 bps on Tuesday to 4.6%. Allentown’s Outbound Tender Reject Index followed a similar trend, falling 77 bps since the start of the month but ticked up 15 bps on Tuesday to 4.2%.



Outbound demand from Dallas has become increasingly volatile this month as national tender volumes are still trending down.

Tender volumes from Dallas were seeing a rise this time last week, but remained 7.2% lower on Monday than they were at the start of the month. The Outbound Tender Volume index edged lower Tuesday by just over 5 points, or 1.6%, to 316.53.

Neighboring market Fort Worth, Texas, has seen a significant drop in demand as well, only with no signs of recovery. The Outbound Tender Volume Index is down 24.5 points, or 12.6%, since Nov. 1 and is flatlined at 168.2.

In both markets, rejection rates went into free fall this week as volumes were either unpredictable or simply dropping. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for Dallas is down 72 bps since the start of the week to 3% — their lowest since May 2020. In Fort Worth, rejections fell to even more dangerous territory by dropping 73 bps to 2.1% in the same time frame. These incredibly low rejection rates indicate that given the consistent decreases in outbound volume, carriers do not feel that they can reject anything if they want to keep their truck moving.


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: Dallas to Greenville, South Carolina

Spot market rates from Dallas to Greenville, South Carolina, are currently only 1 cent less than they were at the start of the month at $2.22 a mile — 28 cents below the national average.

Outbound volumes in Greenville are 5.9% higher than they were this time last week, and rejection rates edged up to 5.5% on Wednesday, providing a good chance of booking a load coming out. 

However, a return trip back to Dallas sees a significant drop in the rates, falling to $2.02 a mile. A better return trip might be to Little Rock, which is currently paying $2.15 a mile. And if a load from Little Rock back to Dallas is available, average spot rates are paying $2.95 a mile with a confidence score of 4.

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.