Today’s lanes to watch: Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Takeaways for today's lanes:

  • Carrier rates climb to record levels on the Los Angeles to Dallas lane.

  • Capacity from San Francisco to Dallas could tighten quickly as the Headhaul Index surges 28%week-over-week (w/w).

  • Record outbound demand keeps Chicago to Columbus capacity at-risk.

Los Angeles to Dallas – Dry van carriers average $3.66 all-in rpm on the LAX – DAL lane as freight volumes increase.



  • Freight volumes increase to 1195 index points on the LAX – DAL lane, pushing the average carrier rate up to $3.66 all-in rpm last week.

  • Dallas’ dry van Headhaul score declines, but remains elevated at 104.35 as market conditions soften.

  • Dallas shippers increase tender lead times to 2.91 days, indicating that shippers are feeling pressure from changing market conditions.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: The Los Angeles market is arguably the tightest market in the nation as outbound rates continue to hit record highs. Brokers should search the spot market for dry van loads that run across the LAX – DAL lane, helping shippers secure capacity for their loads. Increase your bids since carrier costs continue to trend upward. Carrier rates for on-demand capacity will be extremely expensive so keep downward pressure on the rates you receive to help create margins on these loads.

Carriers: Dry van carriers averaged $3.66 all-in rpm on the LAX – DAL lane last week, and capacity continues to be an issue in the Los Angeles market. Carriers with excess capacity in the Los Angeles market should search the spot market for loads that deliver into the Dallas market, but increase your rates as shippers struggle for capacity. The Dallas market has softened, but shippers have increased tender lead times to almost 3 days as they are starting to feel pressure from shifts in market conditions.

Shippers: Keep dry van tender lead times extended, and monitor the Headhaul index, rejection rates and freight volumes. Market conditions have softened over the past week in Dallas, but a Headhaul score of 104 indicates that market conditions are still extremely tight. As we enter the holiday season, spot rates could climb back up very quickly, enticing carriers to reject their contracted freight for higher paying freight on the spot market.

San Francisco to Dallas - Volumes up 11% week-over-week (w/w), causing a 28% increase in the Headhaul Index.



  • San Francisco outbound tender volumes are up 11%, signaling that demand for capacity is growing, putting upward pressure on rates.

  • The Headhaul Index has increased 28% w/w, and that is likely to grow as import volumes shift over into the truckload market.

  • San Francisco outbound tender rejections are relatively flat w/w, but could increase in the days ahead as the imbalance in volumes grows.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: It is important to notice the growing imbalance between outbound volumes and inbound volumes via the Headhaul Index, which is up 28% w/w. While import volumes have been limited due to the massive congestion backlog of vessels caught up in the SoCal port traffic jam, there is still likely to be a significant amount of volume being transitioned over into the truckload market. These volumes are as time sensitive as ever, and will likely cause capacity to tighten significantly this month.

Carriers: Stay firm on your rates as the increase of over 28% in the Headhaul Index w/w is likely to shift pricing power further into your favor. With import volumes expected to increase from vessels finally getting free of the traffic jam in LAX/LGB, it is likely that these new volumes will only add to the pressure on capacity and rates as we get closer to “Black Friday” and the peak of retail buying season for the holidays.

Shippers: Your shipper cohorts in San Francisco are averaging 3.1 days in tender lead times, but this may not be enough lead time to sufficiently cover your freight in the weeks ahead. There is likely a major amount of pent-up truckload demand from containers trying to get trans-loaded, so be aware that volumes could see a major boost during the next few weeks.

Chicago to Columbus - Chicago demand hits highest level of the year.



  • Chicago’s tender volumes have jumped nearly 15% month-over-month, which is starting to put increased pressure on capacity in the market.

  • Rejection rates to Columbus hit a floor late last week around 22.2% but have bounced back over 23%.

  • Columbus’ outbound rejection rates have recovered after spiking above 22% a week and a half ago. Outbound demand remains consistent over the past month with low volatility.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: Keep an eye on Chicago capacity as most of the outbound demand growth has come from loads moving more than 450 miles. Carriers compliance has improved over the past month, but increasing demand will limit the recovery. Expect upward pressure on rates to persist.

Carriers: Accept more loads into the Chicago market with demand on the rise. Columbus is prone to sharp changes in capacity conditions, but appears to be stabilizing for now with rejection rates falling below the national average.

Shippers: Keep lead times between three and seven days if possible in this lane. Rate increases may have improved compliance in this lane, but increasing demand pressure will keep capacity at-risk throughout the week.

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