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USA LOGISTICS MARKET ANALYSIS 2/2/2022


Today’s lanes to watch: Tuesday, February 2, 2022


Takeaways for today's lanes:

  • A winter storm is poised to impact the already tight Nashville to Chicago lane.

  • Brokers should lower bids in the LA to Seattle lane to reflect signs of easing.

  • High spot market volatility and weather have caused a surge in tender rejections in the Nashua, NH to Chesapeake, VA lane.

Nashville to Chicago – Another lane is impacted by the winter weather.

FreightWaves TRAC Market Dashboard - Nashville to Chicago


Highlights:

  • FreightWaves TRAC spot rates have risen from $3.06 per mile on December 6 to $3.67 on January 31 for this lane (with an extremely wide range of dispersion).

  • Nashville’s outbound rejection rate has bounced between 20% and 30% over that same period, with lane-specific rejection rates to Chicago averaging around 23%.

  • Chicago’s Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) is trending higher, increasing 15% over the past two weeks, with rejection rates staying above 20%.


What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Pad margins in this lane because the long-running trend is for continued tightening. Considering the weather that is forecast to hit this late in the middle of this week, you should make sure your customers are aware that the potential for service delays is significant and any expedited freight that is scheduled to be picked up after today will be at risk.


Carriers: Be prepared for service disruption or delays for any loads moving in this lane tomorrow. Any spot load quotes for Thursday pickup should carry an extra premium due to an increased risk of delays due to the weather. In addition, there is already upward momentum on rates. Chicago continues to be a strong outbound market with high reload potential.


Shippers: Increase lead times into next week if possible, not only to avoid the rate premiums but also avoid potential service delays. It may be better to try and capture capacity today for urgent shipments scheduled to move tomorrow.


Los Angeles to Seattle – Brokers should lower bids to reflect signs of easing.

SONAR Tickers: VOTRI.LAXSEA, VHAUL.LAX


Highlights:

  • The dry van tender rejection rate in the lane declined 657 basis points (bps) in the past month to 9.4%, the first time below 10% since 1H20.

  • According to Market Dashboard, dry van spot rates are down 13.5% in the lane since earlyJanuary (to a still-high $4.60/mile, including fuel).

  • The dry van average tender lead time for inbound Seattle loads of 3.1 days suggests that shippers remain concerned with securing inbound Seattle capacity.


What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Lower your bids in the lane to reflect evidence of loosening outbound LA loads. Use the average van spot rate in Market Dashboard of $4.60/mile as well as the spot rates in the 67th and 33rd percentiles ($4.89/mile and $4.11/mile, respectively) as a benchmark for what you should be paying for on-demand capacity. Those quotes include fuel surcharges.


Carriers: Typically a deep backhaul market, Seattle is more balanced with outbound and inbound freight than usual, as shown by its Van Headhaul Index of -2.5. This is likely due to strong import volume at the Port of Seattle. Therefore, this is a better lane for carriers than it usually is.


Shippers: With tender rejection rates declining sharply for both outbound LA loads and inbound Seattle loads, avoiding the spot market in the lane should be easier than it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.


Nashua, NH to Chesapeake – Spot market volatility coupled with winter storms have led to a surge in tender rejections.


FreightWaves TRAC Market Dashboard – Nashua NH to Chesapeake


Highlights:

  • Outbound tender rejections increased to 151% week-over-week (w/w) to record highs of 59.05% (from 23.5% on January 24).

  • Spot rates remain volatile, increasing to $4.57 per mile compared to a historical low of $3.83 per mile.

  • Chesapeake market tender rejections remain high at 20%, indicating capacity constraints for outbound shipments.


What does this mean for you?


Brokers: The Nashua market is experiencing a surge in tender rejections, indicating capacity troubles remain after last weekend’s blizzard. Remain cautious of ad hoc opportunities unless you have a sufficient margin buffer or truck in-hand. Committed lanes may struggle as carriers refrain from entering the market until weather conditions improve.


Carriers: Spot market and tender rejections provide a potential boon in revenue. However, weather conditions and driver experience will play a major part in booking decisions. Operating in the upper Northeast can be challenging under normal conditions, and adding winter storms and facility disruptions could be a high risk/high reward strategy depending on the commodity shipped and customer facility characteristics.


Shippers: Expect tender compliance issues and higher spot rates as both carriers and brokers navigate the impact from the recent blizzard. Communication regarding facility disruptions and shipment priority will be key to ensure “must go” loads are covered. Consider adjusting tender lead times to give more opportunities for carriers and brokers to work down their routing guides, as last-minute shipments may incur additional costs or service disruptions.

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