Yep! Even the owner-operator can and needs to use this information. It certainly is not tactical but even the individual needs to forecast and employ strategy.
What markets are hot? What markets are cold? Which direction are they heading?
Should I invest in new equipment? Trailer? Tractor? When?
Let’s connect the dots, shall we?
Below is a chart from SONAR’s new Container Atlas (SCA) dashboard. This chart shows bookings from June 1, 2021, through May 5, 2022.
Over that time period, the volume from Shanghai to Los Angeles is down by about 50%.
While this will obviously have an impact on the port of Los Angeles, it will also drive warehousing, cross-dock, intermodal, truckload, and even less-than-truckload.
The SONAR chart above shows inbound ocean twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs) into the United States. It then compares truckload tenders from Ontario, California to the inbound ocean TEUs and also the national volume of truckloads.
It is quite apparent that inbound TEUs from Shanghai drive the outbound volume of truckloads in Ontario.
The last time I checked, Ontario is the largest market in the nation for truckload volume and is the bellwether for the U.S. market.
The SONAR chart on the left above compares the truckload tender volumes to truckload rejections. More volume equals strain on capacity and thus rejections. Supply and demand if you will.
On the right-hand side, truckload rejections are compared with spot rates. This is SONAR’s new daily spot rate excluding fuel.
The long and short of it is this: Bookings out of Shanghai impact truck volumes in Ontario. In turn, Ontario is a bellwether of national truckload volumes. Volumes drive capacity demand. Capacity availability drives spot rates.
Owner-operators need to watch the import indices to understand future demand.
Read more articles from Michael “The Dude” Vincent
Peace and love