Mastering changing market conditions has always been a goal for shippers, brokers and carriers. Market dynamics of freight management can turn on a dime. Supply chain intelligence and actionable insights must apply the most accessible, near real-time data available.

Analytic data resources for brokers are great, but it’s equally important to realize that FreightWaves SONAR is much more than a broker-exclusive resource. It contains a host of applications for shippers as well. Simultaneously, shippers must realize market volatility and other factors contribute to higher freight spend and uncertainty. It is very much of a Catch-22 situation. However, applying analytic data insights for shippers from SONAR can mean the difference between success or failure. Here are five analytic data insights for shippers from SONAR-powered analytics to achieve that goal.

Market volatility

Market volatility remains the most impactful of all analytic data insights for shippers. Volatility is the one constant in logistics. Seeing market volatility and conditions at any point will inevitably allow shippers to recognize when freight spend will shift. At the same time, those insights contribute additional value during annual RFP processes and mini-bid activity to circumvent short-term instabilities.

O/D pairing haul opportunities

Fleet management remains a challenge for both carriers and shippers alike. However, as shippers look to leverage additional in-house fleet options to expand their networks, seeing origin-destination (O/D) data can lead to more haul opportunities. That includes seeing which lanes have the highest activity and will incur additional costs. Of course, there’s another advantage.

Shippers can conceivably leverage O/D data across most-traveled routes for information to guide RFP processes and justify requests for discounts or shipper-of-choice status. How? The answer lies in how shippers present the information to carriers – indicating how carriers can benefit from tapping backhaul opportunities in in-demand markets. 

Load coverage insights to build collaboration

Another opportunity to apply analytic data insights rests with using data to enhance collaboration in the supply chain network. More collaboration will always generate additional productivity. And productivity is essential to helping companies stay up to date with the growth of e-commerce.

As reported by Forbes, “Many companies, for example, have moved to e-commerce[…]This means shipping via B2C channels versus B2B channels. To keep pace, organizations need systems that are up to the task. Email and fax don’t cut it. What’s needed are systems that connect to business networks. This can allow your organization to expand beyond its established carrier relationships and more dynamically access resources to deliver what’s needed to meet customer expectations.”

SONAR-driven insights and analytics help shippers recognize how their loads stack up against brokers’ and carriers’ competition. In turn, they are more likely to tender a load with a rate that will be accepted during the first phase.


Analytic data insights also allow understanding of how critical events affect road conditions. Road conditions may change to reflect construction, additional rainfall, tropical storms, winter storms, and more with each season. Keeping that information within a centralized resource and applying that data in combination with predictive freight rates helps a company understand what moves have a higher risk.


Freight spend is among the top costs for shippers. Aside from labor costs and energy use, transportation costs comprise a shipper’s most significant expenses. Unfortunately, the Amazon Effect has created a world of micro-thin profit margins for shipping and sales alike. Therefore, companies must ensure that they pay rates indicative of actual market value for transportation. SONAR makes that possible and helps companies avoid overpayment, and thereby undercutting their overall profit margins.

Other uses of SONAR analytic data can be found in looking at projected import volume by port. As part of the Ocean Shipments Report, users see a forecast of possible increases in port activity for the next week. That insight helps to better plan drayage moves, which trickle down throughout the supply chain. After all, import activity is one of the leading indicators of added pressure on truckload logistics and sourcing capacity.


Analytic data insights are only as valuable as their actionability. Without a clear path forward, analytics only serves to inform us about the past. And that’s ineffective for proactive freight management. Advanced freight shippers need an easy-to-deploy solution that rapidly shows market conditions and provides comprehensive insights into all activities. SONAR SCI is that solution. Request a SONAR demo online today.

White Papers
June 21, 2024

June State of Freight Market White Paper

June 10, 2024

Vital Insights for Transportation Analysts

May 29, 2024

Slow Freight Market Recovery: May 2024 State of Freight Webinar