January 14 Sonar Witness Information: LA to Chicago, 5 Chart Summary, Details

Highlights of Friday’s SONAR report. To learn more about SONAR, the industry’s fastest cargo forecasting platform, or to request a demo click here.. Also, be sure to check The latest SONAR update, TRAC — The industry’s newest spot rate data.

Featured Lane: Los Angeles to Chicago

Summary: The intermodal spot rate has dropped further and is now 39% m / m lower.


  • Intermodal spot rates from LA to Chicago have fallen sharply for the second straight week, suggesting that Class I railroads have become less concerned about protecting the capabilities of contract shippers. Last month, Door-to-Door domestic intermodal spot rates, including fuel surcharges, fell 39% in the lane to $ 2.51 / mile.
  • Domestic intermodal volume averaged 1,131 containers per day last week, 8% below the average daily of 1,240 units in early December.
  • The average dry van spot rate paid by brokers for lane capacity is $ 3.73 / mile, including fuel surcharges, which is $ 0.10 higher than what was paid a month ago.

What does this mean to you?

broker: In light of the market dashboard showing that spot rates are rising, brokers may want to raise rates slightly to maintain margins. When bidding for capacity, keep your transportation costs below an average of $ 3.73 / mile (including fuel). However, keep in mind that bids under $ 3.54 / mile, including fuel (spot rate of the 33rd percentile), can be too aggressive.

Career: For a van carrier who is willing to travel for four days, this is a solid lane. Chicago’s van bid rejection rate of 18.0% is 210 basis points (bps) below the national van bid rejection rate, but the Chicago Van Headhole Index has improved from less than 20 to 43. This shows that the Chicago market is tightening. An easy place for carriers to reload.

Shipper: In contrast to last year, the respective intermodal and dry van spot rates suggest that it is economical to use rail intermodals to move the spot load. However, substandard intermodal volumes in the lane and a high outbound LA intermodal bid rejection rate of 11% (typically a single digit lower) are likely to cause delays for intermodal shippers. It suggests that.

See: on the spot

See Lane: From Salt Lake City to Chicago

Summary: The mid-month decline in both markets is a good time to ship.


  • The Salt Lake City rejection rate dropped to 26% after reaching 33% last week. Outbound volume reached a three-month high.
  • Chicago’s rejection rate is reaching 23%. It will return to normal in this market after soaring to a three-month high.
  • The spot rate for this lane is $ 2.84 / mile, which is the average for this lane this month.

What does this mean to you?

broker: Salt Lake City’s rejection rate has historically skyrocketed in the last two weeks of the month. Be prepared for the rise in the last week of the month. Brace to increase the spot rate.

Career: Chicago is preparing for the rise at the end of the month, so know your worth and don’t compromise below. In other words, it maintains a strong rate and brace against tightening conditions. If you have extra trucks, carry your luggage to Chicago.

Shipper: The dip won’t last long. Try to ship as much as you can by next week. Otherwise, keep your bid lead time at least 3.5 days to cover and prevent excessive price bloat due to lack of capacity.

Tight market for 5 SONAR charts

SONAR freight data show that the freight market remains tight. This is a mini highlight reel of 5 SONAR charts.

The track load spot rate has hit a new high. Dry van (blue) and reefer (green) spot rates (including fuel surcharges) average $ 3.83 / mile and $ 4.88 / mile, respectively. These charges are likely to decline in the coming weeks as more capacity returns to the market after vacation, but in general, on-demand capacity charges continue to rise and the tightness of the truck loading sector is tight. it is continuing.

Refrigerated containers are rejecting 39% of bids. It’s not “coin toss compliance” last spring, but the current freezing bid rejection rate is particularly noticeable after the rise in contract rates over the past year. Refrigerated container contract rates are currently up by double digits compared to last year (purple line on the left axis below). You might have expected carriers to become significantly more compliant after the contract was renegotiated at a higher rate.

Ocean velocities are stable at very high levels. At the end of last year, rates in the eastward trans-Pacific region tripled from late 2020 and then fell about 25% from their September highs. Recent rises have dropped about 15% off September’s highs, suggesting that the ocean market is unlikely to fall soon. correct. If the congestion at the port is eased, the resulting increase in ship productivity will effectively increase capacity and lower tariffs, Ship congestion just got worse earlier this year..

Imports should continue to drive demand for domestic freight and warehouse space. SONAR’s marine import shipments (including both containerized and non-containerized quantities) are significantly higher than last year’s levels at almost all major US ports.

Intermodal contract rates (excluding fuel) increased 14% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2009. Last year, while contract rates rose by double digits, it was frustrating for domestic intermodal carriers, who were delayed due to terminal congestion and lack of equipment. With the annual price revision of domestic intermodal contracts in 2022, shippers may see double-digit growth again in addition to last year’s rise. January 14 Sonar Witness Information: LA to Chicago, 5 Chart Summary, Details

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