SONAR is the central hub for freight market analytics and forecasts. How did SONAR become so smart?

SONAR was already the leading analytics platform for the trucking freight market. This November, when FreightWaves introduced SONAR 5.0, it became the industry’s leading rate forecasting platform for the freight market, giving users the ability to forecast dry van trucking rates up to a year out. Reefer and flatbed trucking, intermodal, air, and ocean rate forecasts are around the corner.

In 5.0, FreightWaves also released global trade and cross-border freight market data and analytics, giving users a mode agnostic view of the international freight market.

Here are some questions commonly asked about SONAR and the leading freight forecasting platform.

What are the data sources? 
SONAR aggregates data from over 1,000 sources involved in the transportation and logistics sector. These sources range from IoT vendors, transportation management systems (TMS), OEMs, telematics providers, on-truck sensors, payment providers, fuel vendors, third-party logistics providers (3PLs), forwarders, shippers and carriers. 

How much of the market does SONAR see? 
It depends on the type of data, however, not only is each data set statistically significant, most samples are massive in size.

In electronic tenders, we estimate that we see 85% of the electronic tenders in the market. For asset-tracking such as wait times, SONAR tracks approximately 800,000 assets, which include trucks, trailers and chassis. SONAR’s maritime data tracks approximately one-third of all container bills of lading (BOLs) around the world. In diesel volumes, SONAR sees about 80% of the volume of diesel gallons purchased at the rack. 

SONAR benchmarking provides insight into carrier financial and operational performance data from over 220 fleets, representing around 60,000 trucks.  

Across the board, SONAR offers the largest and most representative samples in the market. 

What do you mean by the world’s fastest freight market dashboard? 
A large proportion of the data in SONAR is based on what has happened in the market within the past 24 hours. This perspective gives SONAR its up-to-the-date view of market conditions, from data sets generated by executed TMS and telematics activity. 

How did SONAR become so smart? 

SONAR is more than just data, it’s intelligence. In addition to the intuitive SONAR 5.0 platform allowing users to quickly understand market conditions, SONAR users also have the power of the FreightWaves Customer Success and Market Expert teams at their disposal.

The FreightWaves’ team of data scientists and analysts consume the data and create standardized methodologies using deep-learning models derived from the data. Often the data received is unstructured and “dirty,” requiring cleaning and filtering methods. 

Once the data is cleansed and is ready to be backtested against like data, the data is published into a controlled environment where a computer simulates the data against other models. If the data passes authenticity tests, it is then put into a QA production environment. 

Once it reaches QA, the market analytics team will use it to test in a real-world environment to answer questions. This can take months. If there are errors or issues, the methodologies are tweaked. If the answers are substantiated by backtesting and analysis, then the data gets published to SONAR for the use of clients. 

How does SONAR create rate forecasts? 
The FreightWaves team has created deep-learning models to track how rates move in the freight market. We call this Freight Market Waterfall Theory and built our forecast based on it’s principles.