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USA LOGISTICS MARKET ANALYSIS 1/4/2022


Today’s lanes to watch: Tuesday, January 4, 2022


Takeaways for today's lanes:

  • Both dry van and intermodal capacity are tight in Seattle to start the year.

  • Spot rates are back on the rise from Savannah to Columbus.

  • Louisville to Kansas City capacity is likely to tighten as the Headhaul Index increases 15% week-over-week (w/w).

Seattle to Chicago – Both dry van and intermodal capacity are tight for g y p y g outbound Seattle loads to start the year.


SONAR Tickers: LOTRI.SEA, INTRM.SEACHI


Highlights:

  • The holiday season has made it more difficult for shippers to secure truckload capacity for outbound Seattle loads, particularly for longer lengths of haul.

  • The Seattle outbound tender rejection rate is 35.0%, compared to 19.4% for all outbound Seattle loads. The latest change in the domestic door-to-door intermodal spot rate in the lane suggests that intermodal capacity has become scarcer as well – it increased 24% in the most recent week to $2.72/mile, including fuel.

  • The SONAR Capacity Trend indices show that the Chicago market is expected to tighten, while the Seattle market is expected to loosen in the coming 1-2 weeks.

What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Brokers are currently paying an average of $3.39/mi, which is an increase from $3.05/mi in mid/late December. The implication is that the rates that brokers will pay for capacity likely has $0.30-$0.35/mi to fall as capacity returns to Seattle after the holidays.


Carriers: While the Chicago Van Headhaul Index of 19 indicates that it is less of a headhaul market than it typically is, that is likely due to both the Chicago outbound and inbound tender volumes being depressed around New Year’s Day. Therefore, the Chicago Van Headhaul Index will likely recover in the coming days and it should still be easy for carriers to get reloaded in Chicago after making the long journey from Seattle.


Shippers: Shippers with less time-sensitive loads should wait for capacity to return to the Seattle market following the holidays. Shippers with more time-sensitive loads should extend lead times to the 3.65-day average for all outbound Seattle loads to help secure capacity.


Savannah to Columbus – Rejection rates are back over 20% out of Savannah.

What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Increase the priority for finding Savannah load coverage in this lane. Pad margins on any unsecured loads and scour the spot market if you know carriers that have availability.


Carriers: Accept more loads into the Savannah market as reload potential is increasing. Rejection rates have recovered out of the Columbus market, but it remains tight, with rejection rates finding a floor around 19.5%.


Shippers: Increase lead times for loads moving in this lane. Consider pushing urgent freight into the spot market if carrier compliance is low and your contract rates are well below $3 per mile.


Louisville to Kansas City – Capacity is likely to tighten as the Headhaul Index increases 15% w/w.

SONAR Market Dashboard Trac Spot Rates from Louisville to Kansas City


Highlights:

  • Louisville outbound tender volumes are up 23% w/w, signaling that demand for outbound capacity is increasing.

  • The Headhaul Index in Louisville is up 15% w/w, signaling that the imbalance between inbound and outbound volumes is growing.

  • Louisville outbound tender rejections are up 2.5% w/w, but that trend is likely to push higher as demand for capacity increases.

What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Even though outbound tender rejections are already up 2.5% w/w, it is likely that outbound tender rejections will continue to rise further judging by the 15% w/w in the Headhaul. This is especially likely since outbound tender volumes are also up 23% w/w. Be prepared to pay a premium on this lane in the days ahead.


Carriers: You are likely able to achieve some of your highest rates of the new year with outbound tender rejections increasing w/w and likely to increase in the next week. Keep an eye on outbound tender rejections to confirm tightening conditions are indeed driving upward pressure on rates.


Shippers: Your shipper cohorts in Louisville are averaging just over 3 days in tender lead times. With the Headhaul Index in Louisville up 15% w/w, and outbound tender rejections likely to continue increasing in the coming days, it would be wise to keep your tender lead times between 3 and 4 days through the next couple of weeks to ensure you are able to secure capacity in the market.

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