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Market Watch for Nov. 14:
Contracted tender volumes in Ontario, California, remain at their lowest levels since 2020, bringing a rise in rejection rates and a pulse to the spot market.
Outbound demand in Southern California dropped more than 15% in the first week of November and has yet to see any sign of increase halfway through the month. The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Ontario is down more than three points since Nov. 4 to 355.2 — its lowest value since March of 2020.
The Los Angeles market is following the same trend this month, as outbound truckload volumes fell 43% in the first week of November and have only seen a 1.6% increase since.
These two drops in truckload volumes coincide with a major decrease in imports at the Port of Long Beach at the end of October. From Oct. 26-Nov. 8, the seven-day moving average for imported container volumes through Long Beach dropped 48.7%. The Port of Los Angeles also saw a 10% drop from Nov. 1-5.
Rejection rates in Ontario saw a rise as carriers were searching the spot market for opportunities outside of their contracts. The Outbound Tender Reject Index is up 88 basis points since Nov. 3 to 2.7%.
As one of the only major markets experiencing an increase in outbound demand this month, volumes in Columbus, Ohio, are continuing to grow this week.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Columbus gained another 1.5 points at the start of the week and is up 23 points, or 10.8%, overall so far this month. The Inbound Tender Volume Index gained some ground over the weekend as well, rising just over one point. The slight increase in both inbound and outbound flows plateaued the Headhaul Index at 29.6.
Rejection rates, however, aren’t showing much life as volumes continue to rise. The Outbound Tender Reject Index is flatlined at 3.1% — down from just over 3.5% at the start of the month — indicating that carriers in the market are satisfied with their contract rates.
Truckload volumes out of Joliet might have found a floor after an immense drop in demand that took place last week but aren’t showing any signs of a recovery.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Joliet plunged 12.5 points, or 4.3%, on Friday to a six-month low of 278.4. The index only gained half of a point over the weekend and currently sits at 278.9.
Neighboring market Chicago is still trying to recover from an 8% drop in demand that happened at the start of November. The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Chicago gained just over 4.5 points, or 2.3%, from Nov. 7-10 but lost those four points between then and now by dropping right back down to where it was at 203.0.
Rejection rates in both markets are rising as carriers are searching the spot market for better opportunities or leaving the market altogether. The Outbound Tender Reject Index in Joliet is up 59 bps since Nov. 6 to 3.9%, while the index in Chicago has risen 23 bps in the same time frame to 3.9%.
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.