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USA LOGISTICS MARKET ANALYSIS 2/22/2022



Today’s lanes to watch: Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Takeaways for today's lanes:

  • Tender rejection rates have fallen in the Chicago to Harrisburg lane as Harrisburg

remains an attractive destination for carriers.

  • The peaks and valleys of shipping from Harrisburg to Augusta have reached a valley in

rejections, volumes and rates.

  • Spot rates have recovered from Houston to Atlanta, but rejection rates are back on the rise.

Chicago to Harrisburg – Tender rejection rates have fallen in the lane as Harrisburg remains an attractive destination for carriers.

SONAR Tickers: VOTRI.MDT, VOTRI.USA, VOTLT.MDT


Highlights:

  • The van tender rejection rate in the lane is 20.6%, down from 23.5% during the first week of February.

  • The average tender lead time for dry van loads inbound to Harrisburg is 3.0 days, which suggests that shippers remain concerned about securing inbound Harrisburg capacity.

  • The current intermodal spot rate from Chicago to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to move 53’ containers door-to-door is $3.69/mile, including fuel surcharges. The latest average dry van spot rate is $5.02/mile, including fuel surcharges, according to the SONAR Market Dashboard app.

What does this mean for you?



Brokers: Dry van spot rates in the lane are elevated, near $5/mile and are up

$0.05/mile from one month ago. Therefore, you will likely want to keep your rates

high in order to preserve margins. When negotiating with carriers, stress that it will

be easy to get reloaded in Harrisburg because its current Van Headhaul Index is 83.


Carriers: Harrisburg is an attractive destination for carriers so you will likely want

to accept tenders in the lane. The current Harrisburg outbound tender rejection rate

is 24%, well above the 18.4% national van tender rejection rate. Meanwhile, the

Harrisburg Van Headhaul Index of 84 suggests it should be easy for carriers to get

vans reloaded.


Shippers: Keep lead times extended to 3 days or more to help secure capacity and avoid paying the ~$5/mile dry van spot rates. Spot shippers moving less timesensitive loads may want to utilize rail intermodal given the current sizable spread between intermodal and highway rates.


Harrisburg to Augusta – Harrisburg has plenty of outbound loads to go around.

FreightWaves TRAC Market Dashboard – Harrisburg to Augusta


Highlights:

  • The FreightWaves TRAC rate for this lane dropped to $5.83 from last week’s almost $6.00 per mile.

  • Harrisburg has cyclical peaks and valleys in outbound tender volume and rejections, with both indices taking a fall from last week; it's a valley before it shoots back up.

  • Outbound tender rejections from Augusta are 15.03%, a sharp decline from last week.

What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Capacity is loosening out of Harrisburg. With its volatility, lock in rates early and encourage shippers to ship now before rates spike upward. Put downward pressure on spot rates to reflect the loosening capacity.


Carriers: The load balance is out of whack in the Augusta market, with more inbound loads over outbound, whereas last week it was more balanced. Rates have dipped, but hold firm as they will likely go back up before too long.


Shippers: Rates are dropping, so ship now if you can. Set your lead times to 2.5-3 days to secure capacity and the best pricing. Outbound tender lead time has dropped at least half a day in both markets, and almost a full day in Augusta. Now is the time to ship as much as you can before capacity tightens again.


Houston to Atlanta – Spot rates have recovered after spiking, but rejection rates are nearing 20%.

FreightWaves TRAC Market Dashboard – Houston to Atlanta


Highlights:

  • FreightWaves TRAC spot rates show an $0.08 per mile decline in this lane over the past three days, but van rejection rates have increased from 17% to 19.5% over the past five days.

  • Houston’s outbound rejection rate has increased from 11.85% on the 11th to 15.34%, its fastest increase since the Christmas run-up.

  • Atlanta’s OTVI has been trending higher since the start of the year, while outbound rejection rates have fallen 6 percentage points to 13.37%.

What does this mean for you?


Brokers: Expect rates to be better in this lane this week, but this trend could quickly reverse

with the surging rejections. It is difficult to tell if this is a natural decline in capacity or if

carriers are jumping into the lucrative spot market. Either way, the situation is volatile.


Carriers: Rely less on the spot market out of Atlanta for reloading. Contract volumes remain high, but rejection rates have fallen well below the national average, leaving less availability on the spot market. This lane is extremely volatile at the moment, but loads moving at more than $3 per mile should make up for the inefficient mileage.


Shippers: Keep lead times above 3 days when possible in this lane. Spot rates dipped last week, but rejection rates are back up. Check in with your carriers on any preplans moving later this week.

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