Where’s the freight going?
Things are changing rapidly in the freight markets, and understanding these changes is vital.
The great one said,
“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”
The same needs to be applied to your truck. Drive to where the freight is going to be, not where it is.
The SONAR map below is displaying OTMSY – outbound tender market share yearly change as a percentage. This is represented by the colors. Red means a market is shrinking and blue means it is growing. The elevation is representing the weekly changes.
Do not make the mistake that this shows the growth or shrinkage of a market.
It shows something far more important. It shows a market’s change in size in relation to all the other markets.
The co-bellwether markets of Ontario, California, and Atlanta, Georgia are shrinking both on a yearly basis and a weekly basis indicating that the trends will continue.
The markets in blue and elevated are growing and have been over the past year.
This clearly shows the shift in freight balance on a long-term basis. If nothing else it is indicative of a saturated inventory market.
The SONAR map above is displaying VOTRIW – van outbound tender rejections weekly change in color and OTVIW – outbound tender volumes weekly change.
The largest markets have plenty of capacity and are declining in freight volumes.
Hmm….Do you think this might drive down rates?
The SONAR chart on the left side above is showing spot rates compared to contract rates indicating a downward trend in both.
On the right-hand side, we see declining fuel prices as well. Not enough to make a big difference, but at least they are not on the rise!
The Most Volatile Markets table above lists the largest markets from top to bottom. A red or green color indicates that an index has moved outside the normal fluctuations for that market.
Only one of the top 14 markets has any sign of market tightening. In fact, you will have to go to Stockton, California, or Denver, Colorado to find a market with a moderate increase in outbound volumes.
So, now what?
Look for where the freight is moving.
Not on a daily load basis but rather which markets are producing outbound tenders. Which markets are changing to head haul markets or growing in that direction.
Remember, it does not have to be a head haul market to have tight capacity. Changes in the flow of loads and impacts of surrounding markets can cause fluctuations in capacity availability and rates.
The SONAR market table above shows – TYS – Knoxville, Tennessee. It is almost a dead-even inbound/outbound market that rose from the depths of backhaul over the past month.
This change in direction has had a direct impact on the capacity and rates in this market. This market and others like it is where the freight is going.
Skate to a market like this and find the puck…er…freight.
Peace and Love