Volumes keep on rolling – up 7% year-over-year

Tender volumes continued to surge higher for the fifth week in a row. Many markets across the country have begun to be filled with freight and capacity has gradually tightened across the country. However, for the current volume level, we do believe capacity has been slow to react. Consumer spending data continues to impress and give us hope for a strong recovery on that front.  


The outbound tender volume index continued soaring higher out of the Memorial Day disruption and now sits at 11,229.68. OTVI is now down only 12% below its all-time high from March. National tender volumes have risen 2% since last week and more than 14% month-over-month. 

It is the van segment that has pushed the overall index higher over the past month. In the past four weeks, van volumes have risen 23%, while reefer tenders has only increased 7%. 

The Rust Belt continued its recovery this week. The outbound tender volume index for Michigan is now at a two-year high. 

The Southeast and the Southwest have also been sources of freight over the past week, but the West Coast has cooled off significantly. The next few days will be interesting to watch how states handle additional COVID-19 outbreaks. Yesterday there were eight states that experienced their highest case count to date. If states go back into lockdown, there will certainly be some momentum slowdown on this volume train. 

On the positive side, nine of the15 of the major freight markets FreightWaves tracks were positive on a week-over-week basis. This ratio has been consistently high in recent weeks. The markets with the largest gains this week in OTVI.USA were Elizabeth, New Jersey, (13.68%), Memphis (12.03%) and Chicago (10.34%).  The markets with the largest decreases this week in OTVI.USA were Fresno, California (-5.13%), Cleveland (-4.81%) and Savannah, Georgia (-4.73%).


Tender rejections continue to improve with volumes

Outbound tender rejections have increased week-over-week for the sixth week in a row after tumbling for the six weeks since the OTRI peak of 19.25% on March 28. 

Capacity has tightened gradually as volumes filled markets across the country during the last few weeks. 

Overall tender rejections are up nearly 10% week-over-week for the second week in a row. We are just five weeks removed from the lowest print in series history, so any movement to the upside should be cheered by carriers. Zach Strickland, Director of Freight Market Intelligence at FreightWaves, spoke about operating ratios (OR) for carriers on FreightWaves NOW on June 10. He noted that carrier ORs move inversely to tender rejections. Currently, all three mode types from the TPP (van, reefer, flatbed) are posting ORs of over 100%. 


For more information on the FreightWaves Freight Intel Group, please contact Kevin Hill at khill@freightwaves.com, Seth Holm at sholm@freightwaves.com or Andrew Cox at acox@freightwaves.com.
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