Today’s Lanes to Watch: Friday, July 23, 2021

Takeaways for today's lanes:

Brokers should lower their bids in the Dallas to Tulsa lane as carriers become more willing to head to Tulsa.

Surges in outbound volumes and the Headhaul Index are likely to cause a reversal in outbound tender rejections from Memphis to Kansas City.

Capacity is consistently tight from Nashville to Cincinnati.

Dallas to Tulsa – Brokers should lower their bids as carriers become more willing to head to Tulsa


In light of the changes in outbound tender rejection rates in the past week, Tulsa has become a more attractive destination for carriers; Tulsa’s outbound tender rejection rate increased from 26% to 35% in the past week. The tighter capacity conditions in Tulsa are related to a pickup in outbound volume; the Tulsa Outbound Tender Volume Index increased from 28 to 39 in the past 10 days. The Dallas market has loosened since the beginning of the month with the Dallas Outbound Tender Reject Index declining from a high of 30% to 23.8% currently.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: Lower your bids in the lane due to the recent declines in the Dallas outbound and Tulsa inbound tender rejection rates. When negotiating with carriers, cite Tulsa’s very attractive 34.8% outbound tender rejection rate, which should make it easy for carriers to get reloaded with high-rated spot loads.

Carriers: Accept tendered loads. While Tulsa is still a backhaul market with a Headhaul Index of -18, the recent surge in outbound volumes, and associated tightness in the market, means that it should still be easy to get reloaded with a high-rated load.

Shippers: This should be an easier lane to cover than it has been in recent weeks, so reward one of you higher-service carriers with the load.

Memphis to Kansas City – A large uptick in weekly inbound container volumes contributes to a surge in truckload demand that is likely to cause tightening conditions


Memphis outbound tender volumes are up 10% week-over-week (w/w), signaling that demand for outbound capacity is increasing. The Headhaul Index in Memphis is up 33% w/w, and with weekly inbound international container volumes up 59% year-to-date (YTD), that trend is likely to continue. Memphis outbound tender rejections are down 492 basis points (bps) w/w, but that trend is likely to reverse as demand for capacity increases.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: We are expecting a reversal in the current decline of outbound tender rejections as the Headhaul Index surges 33% w/w. With a massive increase YTD in inbound international containers moving into Memphis via rail, this surge in outbound volumes is likely to continue, and could even last through much of the remainder of 2021. With outbound tender volumes up 10% w/w, outbound tender rejections are very likely to move higher in the coming days and weeks.

Carriers: Stay firm on your rates as outbound tender rejections are likely to increase in the coming days, and that is likely to shift pricing power into your favor. With inbound international volumes seeing significant growth into Memphis, outbound volumes are likely to continue growing through much of the remainder of the year. Keep an eye on outbound tender rejections and use this index to confirm tightening conditions are indeed driving upward or downward pressure on rates.

Shippers: Your shipper cohorts in Memphis are still averaging 2.9 days in tender lead times. With the Headhaul Index in Memphis up 33% w/w, and outbound tender rejections likely to begin rising 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. Beware that demand for outbound volumes in Memphis will likely reach an all-time high in the weeks to come

Nashville to Cincinnati – Nashville rejection rates resume their rise


Nashville’s outbound rejection rate jumped back over 35% this week after briefly falling under 32%. Lane-specific rejection rates to Cincinnati increased back over 30%, but have been less volatile in July compared to the previous four months. Cincinnati’s outbound rejection rate is trending lower over the past four months, falling from over 30% in March to under 20% currently.

What does this mean for you?

Brokers: Expect capacity to be on par to slightly tighter in Nashville compared to last week, with rates consistent to Cincinnati. This lane is tighter than average, so keep it relatively high on your list of lanes to find coverage.

Carriers: Cover this lane on the spot market if you can with rejection rates well above the national average. Capacity is loosening out of Cincinnati even though demand remains consistent. Rely less on spot market activity when accepting loads into this market.

Shippers: Consider increasing rates or deepening the route guide in this lane if your load acceptance rates are below 70%. Push lead times above three days in this lane when possible to ensure better compliance.

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