SONAR Sightings for Aug. 10: Philadelphia sustains 2022 headhaul activity; Louisville sees highest level of outbound volume

The highlights from Wednesday’s SONAR reports are below. For more information on SONAR — the fastest freight-forecasting platform in the industry — or to request a demo, click here. Also, be sure to check out the latest SONAR update, TRAC — the freshest spot rate data in the industry.

Market watch


A traditional backhaul market and major consumer center for the Northeast, Philadelphia continues to see outbound volume increases that have become more common throughout 2022.

Since Aug. 2, outbound volumes have risen 16.1% in Philadelphia, exceeding the market’s level of inbound loads by 6.3%. This shift has generated an upswing in Philadelphia’s Headhaul Index, turning positive to 11.66, the highest it has been since July 26.

Capacity in Philadelphia has tightened and pushed rejection rates up significantly. The Outbound Tender Reject Index has jumped 145 basis points since the volume increase on Aug. 2 to 7.4%.


Louisville, Kentucky

Going down south, which is a great song by The Black Keys, outbound volumes in Louisville have hit their highest level since FreightWaves SONAR began tracking the market in 2018. The Outbound Tender Volume Index has seen a 14.8% increase since the start of August and is still on an upward trajectory.

The difference between outbound and inbound volumes in Louisville is at its largest variance since the data set began, bringing the Headhaul Index up 18.3% since the start of August and 232% since the start of 2022 to its highest value since 2018.

However, rejection rates have taken a nosedive in the past few days, falling roughly 200 bps since Aug. 7, indicating that there is plenty of truckload capacity in Louisville to handle the increase in outbound volume.



Boston has seen steady climbs in outbound volumes so far this month, which can give supply chain and transportation industry workers something to be proud of and look forward to, since the Red Sox are at the bottom of their division and this week have to play the mighty Atlanta Braves.

Outbound tender volumes may be up 16.7% in August, but Boston is as sturdy a backhaul market as they come, with outbound volumes not even once exceeding inbound levels since 2018. Inbound volumes have increased 22% since Aug. 2, pushing the Headhaul Index down to minus 34.39.

Carriers are looking for better rates in the spot market as rejection rates soared 175 bps since Sunday to 4.2% — still well below the national average of 6.1% — to their highest percentage since May.


NTI as a point of reference

The National Truckload Index is a daily look at how spot rates in specific lanes hold up in comparison to the national average, giving carriers and brokers an idea of which lanes to gravitate toward or avoid.

NTI Daily

Lane to watch: Memphis, Tennessee to Louisville

Volume levels out of Memphis are ticking downward and spot rates have been riding along with them. The Outbound Tender Volume Index in Memphis is decreasing 2.4% week over week, and if any carriers are looking for a way out without having to travel too far, keep an eye on this lane in particular.

Even though spot rates have decreased 26 cents in August, they remain elevated at 43 cents above the national average at $3.13 a mile.

With the increase in outbound volume in Louisville, there is a probable outcome of booking a load after the job is done, and a return trip in this lane can bring in $3.17 a mile — 47 cents above the national average. It is important to note, however, that the confidence score in the rates going into Louisville is at a 3 and the return trip at a 2, creating significant volatility in the range of rates being offered.

Market Dashboard

Watch: Carrier update

Source: freightwaves - SONAR Sightings for Aug. 10: Philadelphia sustains 2022 headhaul activity; Louisville sees highest level of outbound volume
Editor: Corey Smith