[Updated: May 19th, 2020] The period for free sign-ups has now ended
Truckstop.com clients will have free access to FreightWaves SONAR’s freight market intelligence and forecasting platform for one full month. Any current client of Truckstop will receive free access to the platform to use in their response and recovery efforts.
The combination of SONAR and Truckstop’s platform will help transportation providers more effectively weather the disruptions in the freight market.
FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller stated, “We are partnering with Truckstop for one full month to help carriers find more spot loads to keep running. The market is going through unprecedented disruption – certain shippers are seeing massive surges and other shippers are completely shut down. By combining forces, we hope that carriers and brokers will use SONAR to monitor and analyze the market, while matching actual loads on the Truckstop.com platform.”
The logistics industry is the “Always Responder,” assisting every part of society in preparations during the onset of a crisis, delivering goods during the crisis, and helping to rebuild and restock after everyone else is long departed. Logistics professionals will sacrifice time with family and even put themselves in harm’s way to ensure that people have access to the necessary resources for survival and comfort.
With disruptions impacting global manufacturing, borders closing between nations, and consumers stocking up in preparations for potential massive shortages, historical models are breaking down.
“This is a black swan event, unlike we’ve ever seen. Historical models are not going to be very useful right now. You need current and real-time information when things are changing minute-by-minute,” Fuller explained.
SONAR was built just for that purpose – to help supply chain professionals get access to actionable data and intelligence when the situation on the ground is fluid and changing rapidly.
In normal times, SONAR helps companies benchmark their performance against competitors and analyze global freight activity. In times of crisis, SONAR is built to help front-line logistics and supply chain professionals monitor and forecast what is happening and is likely to happen.
There are certain shippers that are experiencing massive surges – particularly in grocery, healthcare and consumer packaged goods. But shippers in other industries, particularly in retail, manufacturing, energy and construction are completely shut down.
SONAR helps carriers and brokers identify markets and industries that are seeing surges, while also tracking markets or industries that are offline.
Trucking companies will find SONAR’s market data critical during April to stay loaded and to keep their trucks rolling. With as many as 40% of shippers shut down and logistics networks being completely disrupted, carriers will need to stay informed of real-time market conditions.
“FreightWaves captures actual load tenders from shippers to carriers, allowing us to ‘map the market’ in real-time. With this data, we can inform carriers what markets to accept loads into and what markets to avoid,” stated Fuller.
The SONAR platform contains freight data from over 1,000 sources that create actionable outcomes for capacity planners. There is also a direct feed from Twitter that offers filtered content from 30,000 of the most relevant news organizations and commentators. The comments can be further filtered for specific terms around coronavirus, COVID-19, shortages of goods, and over 70 other major terms.
SONAR’s Critical Events widget will be important throughout the planning, coordination and event monitoring. SONAR’s real-time data that can be used to move food, household products and medical supplies where they are needed the most.
Disruptions to supply chains and freight markets due to panic buying in the last few weeks have been severe. Hopefully, that will diminish and food and supplies can be restocked.
As this restocking continues, access to SONAR data will help carriers, shippers, 3PLs and federal and state officials in the effort. Moreover, the recent strains on supply chains will take new twists and turns in the days and weeks ahead. SONAR is ready to manage those as well.
Truckloads dispatched on relief work do not return to market at a typical rate, but instead are detained by evolving conditions, indecisive bureaucrats, and fragmentary information, often for days on end. And with some drivers deciding not to drive, that will put a further strain on the system.
Short-term, the ripple effect from the loss of capacity (trucks and drivers) could send spot rates upward in markets across the country. Once freight activity slows, however, the spot rates could drop significantly across the market.
Outbound and inbound volumes can be charted by using the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) and Inbound Tender Volume Index (ITVI) tickers with a geographical qualifier (i.e., OTVI.SAV brings up outbound volumes for Savannah). Capacity tightness is measured by the outbound tender rejection rate and the OTRI ticker, which can be modified by the same geographic qualifiers; WAIT times for trucks at shipper facilities are also available for every market.
Getting started with SONAR
SONAR access will be open to all Truckstop.com clients for one month. There is no obligation to access the information and no credit card information is required.
Universal, free access to SONAR will allow Truckstop.com clients to monitor conditions across all markets and modes, and may be extended depending on the conditions created by the coronavirus.
Suggested indexes to monitor during April:
HAUL – Headhaul Index: Outbound volumes less inbound volumes. Markets with positive values are reducing truck supply faster than it can be replenished, also known as a “headhaul market.” Some markets (Florida for example) are generally the opposite of this with inbound exceeding outbound; therefore they are backhaul markets. Positive movements equal increasing upward rate pressure.
ITRI – Inbound Tender Rejection Index: The rate at which carriers are rejecting inbound loads. Increasing values indicate carriers are avoiding the area and may lead to increased rate pressure.
OTRI – Outbound Tender Rejection Index: The rate at which carriers are rejecting outbound loads from a market. Increasing rejection rates correlate with higher spot rates.
ITVI – Inbound Tender Volume Index: An index measuring the amount of inbound volume for a market.
OTVI – Outbound Tender Volume Index: An index measuring the amount of outbound freight volume for a market. The higher the number the greater the demand for trucks.
Truckstop.com spot rates and volume: Truckstop.com provides truckload spot rates, across reefer trucking, van trucking, and flatbed trucking. In addition, you can find out the relative volume on a given lane.
TSTOPFR – Truckstop.com 7-Day Flatbed All-in Rate
TSTOPFV – Truckstop.com 7-Day Flatbed Volume Index
TSTOPRR – Truckstop.com 7-Day Reefer All-in Rate
TSTOPRV – Truckstop.com 7-Day Reefer Volume Index
TSTOPVR – Truckstop.com 7-Day Van All-in Rate
TSTOPVV – Truckstop.com 7-Day Van Volume Index
WAIT – Wait times: The average amount of time a truck is waiting at a facility to get loaded or unloaded. These are broken down by facility type such as airports or railyards, industry sectors such as auto manufacturers, and markets. Increased wait times are indicative of congestion, especially in times of surging volumes as we are seeing now.
ORAIL – Outbound container volumes moving on the rail. These are broken down by market, container size, and loaded and empty volumes. International container volumes (20- and 40-foot) are heavily tied to imports.
The following are some of the more useful measures in seeing the current freight flows in the U.S.:
IRAIL – Inbound container volumes on the rail.
ORIALL – Loaded outbound containers on the rail
IRAILL – Loaded inbound containers on the rail
ORAILDOM – Outbound domestic containers on the rail – 48 and 53 foot containers
ORAILINT – Outbound international containers on the rail – 20-, 40- and 45-foot containers
CSTM – Daily import shipments that cleared U.S. customs. These are broken down by country and lane (port to port) reported on a weekly lag. Monitoring the amount of shipments entering the U.S. will give insight into how quickly international production levels are recovering and thus how fast the U.S. inventory levels are being replenished.
LMI – Logistics Manger’s Index – A compilation of monthly indexes based on survey data that measure inventory costs (INVC), inventory levels (INVL), transportation capacity (TPCP), transportation prices (TPPR), transportation utilization (TPUT), warehousing capacity (WHCP), warehousing prices (WHPR), and warehousing utilization (WHUT). Values over 50 indicate expansion, while values under 50 indicate contraction.
On SONAR’s map feature, road and surface conditions allow users to see road conditions, surface precipitation, wind and wind gusts. SONAR also features road cameras that feed from DOT cameras.
Market volatility tab in SONAR
FreightWaves and other media content is available on the platform, where users can stay up to date with the latest published updates.
Video widget for news and market commentary
There is a video widget as well, that streams FreightWaves TV content directly. Along with FreightWaves.com and FreightWaves’ podcasts, FreightWaves TV has been, and will continue to, provide updates on how COVID-19 is impacting transportation, logistics and the freight market.
All usage of SONAR is governed by the SONAR user agreement available at www.freightwaves.com.