FreightWaves SONAR releases loaded and empty rail volumes (with video)

Outbound and inbound rail volumes (ORAIL/IRAIL) are excellent methods to identify freight flow in a market. U.S. Rail has far fewer origin-destination pairs to analyze and that can make it easier to see developing trends by region. The ORAIL dataset is broken down into container size, loaded/empty, and whether or not it is a traditional domestic or international container. Now users will be able to quickly see changes in these volumes with the addition of the “delta” values, which show weekly (ORAILLW), bi-weekly(ORAILLF), monthly (ORAILLM) and yearly (ORAILLY) changes in percentages. 

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In addition to the rail volume deltas, there is now an aggregated spot rate value for intermodal shipments in the U.S. (INTRM), which is the average of all the intermodal rail rates in the country. 

Several volume indexes which are variations of the popular tender volume index also have delta granularities added to the SONAR database. These are:

  • Lengths of Haul – COTVI, SOTVI, MOTVI, TOTVI, LOTVI
  • Equipment Type – ROTVI, VOTVI
  • Exclusive HAUL – HAULEX100, HAULEX250

The popular Headhaul Index (HAUL) now has equipment type variations for dry van (VHAUL) and reefer (RHAUL) load types. The Headhaul Index measures the difference between outbound (OTVI) and inbound (ITVI) volumes. When the values are positive, the potential for undersupply is elevated, whereas the opposite is indicative of increased oversupply potential. 

Now, SONAR users will be able to delineate between reefer and dry van. RHAUL and VHAUL (below) will also have values excluding 100- and 250-mile loads, which are better indicators of supply and demand discrepancy along with the delta variations. The tickers are as follows:

  • Modal Exclusive HAUL – RHAULEX100/250, VHAULEX100/250
  • Exclusive HAUL deltas – R/VHAUL100/250(WF,M,Y)
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