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SONAR Sightings: Volume in major markets nose-dives leading toward holidays

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. 9:

Dallas

Outbound demand from Dallas continues to slump and reach its lowest level since February 2021.

As in most major markets this quarter, volumes from Dallas began to descend at the start of November and are still trending downward. The Outbound Tender Volume Index for the Texas hub is down more than 36 points, or 10.5%, to 310.23.

Inbound tender volume levels are trending down as well. The Inbound Tender Volume Index in Dallas dropped nearly 10 points, or 3.6%, in the last week to 256.55 — its lowest value since April 2020.

With the majority of volume decline in Dallas being accredited to outbound volume, the Headhaul Index plunged downward more than 19 points since Saturday to 53.68 — its lowest value since February 2021.

The decline in outbound volume has brought Dallas’ market share down from more than 3% at the start of the month to 2.8%, still trailing behind Atlanta and Ontario, California.


Rejection rates are also down to their lowest levels since April 2020. After seeing a drop at the start of the month when volumes began to decline, they now remain relatively stable at 4% this week as carriers are essentially auto-accepting their contracted freight in order to secure loads.

SONAR Tickers: HAUL.DAL, OTRI.DAL

Detroit

Continuing the trend of large markets seeing a major decrease in outbound demand, Detroit was seeing record highs over the summer, but the fourth quarter has brought volume levels to pre-summer levels.

The Outbound Tender Volume Index for the Motor City fell nearly 75 points, or 25.2%, by Friday and dropped another 15 points since then to 206.87.

Inbound tender volumes have seen a significant drop this month as well. The Inbound Tender Volume Index went into a freefall at the start of the month and has dropped more than 92 points, or 29.1%, from Nov. 2 to 224.64.

However, rejection rates remain unfazed by the drops in volume. In the month of October, outbound volumes only saw .23% growth, which brought rejections down to 1% on Oct. 18, where they have remained and currently sit at 1.1%.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.DTW, OTRI.DTW

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

One of the larger headhaul markets of the Northeast isn’t safe from the fourth-quarter drop in volume either.

Outbound demand in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, tumbled down 3.8% leading into November and only fell further after that. The Outbound Tender Volume Index took a nosedive on Nov. 1 and fell more than 28 points, or 8.6%, by Thursday to 297.29. Since then, the index has not even risen an entire point and currently sits at 298.0.

Neighboring market Allentown, Pennsylvania, is experiencing declines in volume also, only not as drastic. Outbound tender volumes dropped 5.2% into this month and are down another 2.2% since Nov. 2.

Rejection rates in both markets are following similar trends. The Outbound Tender Reject Index for Harrisburg took a 62 basis point drop this week to 5.3%. Meanwhile in Allentown, rejections fell 65 bps to 4.2% in the same time frame.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.MDT, OTVI.ABE

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

Watch: Carrier update

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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.