Today’s lanes to watch: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Takeaways for today's lanes:

  • The van tender rejection rate fell nearly 400 basis points (bps) in the Chicago to Harrisburg lane in the past week.

  • Nashville capacity tightens, putting upward pressure on rates to Elizabeth.

  • Kansas City to Fort Worth capacity is likely to tighten further as the Headhaul Index increases 26% week-over-week (w/w).

Chicago to Harrisburg – The van tender rejection rate fell nearly 400 basis points in the past week as compliance improves on outbound Chicago loads.



  • In the past week, the van tender rejection rate in the lane declined 398 bps to 20.3% compared to a 91 basis point decline for the national van tender rejection rate.

  • The dry van spot rate in the SONAR Market Dashboard tool remains elevated at $4.54/mile, including fuel surcharges

  • The intermodal spot rate from Chicago to Chambersburg, PA is $3.69/mile, including fuel surcharges.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: Lower your bids in light of the sharply falling tender rejection rate in the lane. While the dry van spot rates shown in Market Dashboard for the lane are only slightly off their highs, the latest tender rejection rates suggest they will fall in the coming week.

Carriers: Harrisburg is not as tight of a market as it has been in recent months; its 19.1% van outbound tender rejection rate is the lowest it’s been in over a year. However, Harrisburg remains a market where it should be easy for carriers to get reloaded in light of the current Harrisburg Van Headhaul Index of 77, indicating there is far more outbound freight than inbound freight.

Shippers: For less time-sensitive shipments, such as those that will be warehoused in Harrisburg, current spot rates suggest that using domestic rail intermodal is more economical than dry van truckload. For loads that need to move on the highway, keep in mind that other shippers are extending tender lead times to an average of 2.8 days for inbound Harrisburg loads. You may want to push your lead times to 3 days or longer to help secure capacity.

Nashville to Elizabeth – Rejection rates spike out of Nashville.



  • Nashville’s outbound tender rejection rate jumped from 25.5% on Sunday to 31% on Monday.

  • Rejection rates to Elizabeth are among the lowest of the larger lanes out of Nashville, but have increased over four percentage points since the start of December. Average spot rates increased 9 cents per mile to $3.85 over the same period.

  • Elizabeth’s outbound rejection rate has trended lower since Thanksgiving, falling close to an annual low of 14%.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: Pad margins for loads moving in this lane and make covering Nashville loads a higher priority today. Rates have not changed much over the past few days, but there is increasing pressure as tender volumes hit their highest level since June.

Carriers: Accept more loads into the Nashville market and scout the spot market for increasing activity. Reload potential is on the rise as demand is growing faster than the inbound supply. Elizabeth continues to stabilize as a destination; make sure you have a strong pre-plan in place.

Shippers: Check with your carriers in this lane as the probability for service disruption is on the rise out of Nashville. Make sure lead times are over three days when possible.

Kansas City to Fort Worth – Capacity is likely to tighten further as the Headhaul Index increases 26% w/w.



  • Kansas City outbound tender volumes are up 44% w/w, signaling an increase in demand for truckload capacity.

  • The Headhaul Index in Kansas City is up 26% w/w, signaling a growing imbalance between inbound and outbound truckload volumes.

  • Kansas City outbound tender rejections are up 2.9% w/w, signaling that capacity is likely already tightening.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: While capacity may not be as tight on the Kansas City to Fort Worth lane as it is for the entire Kansas City market, the major 26% increase in the Headhaul Index w/w is likely to cause a tightening of capacity across all outbound lanes in the coming days. With tender rejections from Kansas City over 9% higher than the national average, be sure to prioritize outbound Kansas City loads to ensure coverage.

Carriers: Stay firm on your rates for your outbound Kansas City loads. There is significant upward pressure coming from the 44% w/w increase in outbound volumes, coupled with the 26% increase in the Headhaul Index w/w. With outbound tender rejections over 9% higher than the national average, you have pricing power in your favor.

Shippers: Your shipper cohorts currently have tender lead times at 3.5 days, but these will likely need to be pushed to 4 days to ensure proper coverage in the tightening Kansas City market. With outbound tender rejections already over 9% higher than the national average, you need to prioritize increased tender lead times on these loads to mitigate rising costs for capacity.

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