This Week in SONAR: 38 new macro-economic indicators and much more!

We’re regularly enhancing and improving SONAR to meet the needs of the ever-changing freight market and the needs of our customers. To help keep SONAR users informed, we deliver a brief recap of newly released data sets, market indices, and product feature improvements in our This Week in SONAR series.

Anthony Smith, Economist and Director, Market Experts: Consumer conditions are critical not only for the freight industry, but for the overall economy. Many of these conditions come to light when we take a look at consumer credit conditions. Measures such as total consumer credit outstanding (CCO) and delinquency rates (DRCC) tell us if consumers are feeling confident about spending, the health of the labor market or if they are starting to overextend themselves financially. Another essential condition for consumers is the labor market. The four-week moving average for weekly jobless claims (WJC) shows the amount of individuals filing for unemployment and is another indicator or consumer conditions.


There will also be a significant amount of new industrial manufacturing data in this week’s release. The Fed regional surveys are leading indicators for future business conditions throughout the country and show what each region is feeling right now. More visibility for manufacturing orders by way of non-defense capital goods new orders doesn’t just give insights to manufacturing production in the coming months, but also sheds light on business-to-business activity and business sentiment towards investments. Simply put, when consumers purchase more goods, and businesses are making more orders, freight volumes increase.


Michael Baudendistel, Market Expert: Building upon our rail and intermodal data, we’re enhancing the ORAIL and IRAIL tickers, which measure container volume outbound and inbound to/from a specific metro area, respectively. The new tickers, which measure market share in a metro area, are ORAILMS and IRAILMS (MS stands for market share) in the context of all outbound or inbound containerized data.

In addition, the tickers ORAILMSL, ORAILMSE, IRAILMSL and IRAILMSE may be used to break down the data by loaded and empty containers, L meaning loaded and E meaning empty. This data is critical for drayage companies and intermodal providers; a high volume of inbound or outbound rail volume in a metro area indicates a high volume of drayage opportunities in that region while a high value of empty containers shipment is an indication of where a non-asset based intermodal marketing company can find containers for its upcoming loads.

Need Empty Containers? LA’s Share of Inbound Empties is Growing


Growing Drayage Opportunities to Railhead: Chicago’s Loaded Share Up in Recent Days


All previous SONAR release notes are available HERE. Learn more by using Sue Says in SONAR and clicking on the orca! If you have any questions, please reach out to your Customer Success rep or email

SONAR is the fastest and most comprehensive freight market data and analytics platform in the world. These are just a few of the hundreds of unique data sets available to SONAR subscribers. Not a SONAR user yet? Sign up for a free test drive here.