Below are highlights from Monday’s SONAR reports. To learn more about SONAR—the industry’s fastest freight forecasting platform—or to request a demo, Click here. Also, don’t forget to check latest update of SONAR, TRAC — the latest spot rate data in the industry.
Market review for October 3:
Demand in Atlanta remains steady at the start of the fourth quarter.
Exports from the Empire of the South could be down 14% compared to this time last year, but given the overall deterioration in demand in 2022, we’ll be optimistic and say things could definitely be worse.
The outbound tender volume index for Atlanta in early October rose 4.9% for the week, with Atlanta taking the largest market share in outbound volume at 4.1%.
Another reason to celebrate was the Braves sweeping a three-game MLB series at the New York Mets last weekend to earn their 100th win of the season and move closer to a fifth straight Eastern Conference title of the National League Division.
Inbound tender volumes in Atlanta were also flat over the past few weeks. However, denied entry increased last week as Atlanta was expected to be directly in the path of Hurricane Ian, suggesting carriers are scrambling to stay away.
Meanwhile, output capacity responded similarly, pushing the rejected tenders index up 72 basis points (bps) over the past week to 4.5%.
Jacksonville, Florida, avoid serious damage from Hurricane Ian, but many areas are still flooded, stopping cargo traffic from there.
The Outbound Tender Volume Index went into freefall as Yang began to make landfall in Southwest Florida on September 26, falling nearly 32 points, or 23%, to 109.5, the lowest since 2020.
Denials spiked last week — and understandably so — as operators tried to stay out of the market. Inbound tender rejection index increased by 246bps to 8.5% last week, but has since started to decline and now stands at 8.2%.
While the flooding in northern Florida is not resolved, the diversion rate from Jacksonville remains high and currently stands at 7.8%.
NTI as a point of reference
The National Truckload Index is a daily look at how spot rates in specific lanes are holding up compared to the national average, giving carriers and brokers an idea of which lanes to move to or avoid.
Prices for diesel fuel
Diesel prices continue to fall in the fourth quarter.
At this time last month, diesel was still costing drivers $5.10 a gallon, but fell below $5 a gallon in late September and continues to drop.
Except for the initial spike in prices in late February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, prices have been falling faster than they were rising. Prices topped $5 a gallon in early March and reached $5.08 on March 20. It took them three months to climb 70 cents to a peak of $5.82 on June 20. Over the next three months, prices fell 85 cents a gallon to $4.96. September 20.
Since then, prices have fallen another 8 cents to $4.88 a gallon.
Lane to watch: Atlanta – Orlando
As parts of Jacksonville remain inaccessible to drivers, traffic to central Florida is increasing to deal with the storm.
Inbound tender volumes for the Lakeland market, which includes Orlando, are up 12.6% since the start of last week. However, entry denials remain high at 5.8%, indicating that not all carriers are willing to enter the market and putting upward pressure on spot rates.
Spot rates from Atlanta to Orlando rose 14 cents to $3.45 a mile since last week — 74 cents above the national average.
I don’t condone exploiting the misery of others for financial gain, but this is a way that carriers can make a big difference, and most importantly, help those in need.
Entering the Florida markets also comes with a lot of risk. First, there is the case where the equipment was damaged or delayed due to inaccessible roads. Second, because there are not many loads leaving these markets, drivers will likely have to leave to secure another load.
Watch: carrier update