How can SONAR help me as a Financial Analyst?

Use SONAR to gain an edge on the financial markets. Take the freight market’s pulse before it gets priced in.

For analysts and investors, the most important considerations are the financial outlook for companies/industries and whether that outlook is already priced into shares. 

SONAR helps analysts and investors get to the bottom of those questions better than any freight intelligence system on the market. 

To gain unique insight into publicly-traded truckload carriers and brokers, SONAR knows the actual capacity in the truckload market, along with load volume and carriers’ and shippers’ reactions to current market conditions. This information helps analysts and investors to understand where volume and margins are heading and allows investors to take action before those trends are visible in other data sources. 

For unique insight into the Class I railroads and truckload-based intermodal providers, SONAR provides detailed daily intermodal volume and rates in greater granularity, and in a more timely manner, than what can be found on other data sources. 

For insight into how maritime companies are performing, as well as where domestic transportation volumes are heading, SONAR offers daily customs data broken down by lane and port as well as daily maritime freight rates. 

All of this information and much more is then compiled into indexes that are easily accessible and updated daily. 

With SONAR, your investments and recommendations don’t rely on old data.



How is a public company performing and is that performance reflected in the share price? 

A simple question, but harder to answer. Management teams are restricted from sharing anything that is material. Many major industry data sets are backwards-looking. Research reports and whitepapers are widely disseminated. This makes it difficult to know what’s really going on any better than everyone else does.

Are certain companies long-term outperformers or underperformers? Gain insight into whether a company should be considered a long-term overweight or underweight by comparing its metric to the specific industry segments and geographies it competes in.

Volatility of market share on heat map list.

Volatility of market share on heat map list.

A sampling of what you can benchmark with SONAR:

  • Carriers’ market share against growth in their individual market segment, whether that is dry van, flatbed, reefer, or specific lengths of haul
  • Carriers’ productivity against industry wide metrics for revenue per loaded mile, empty mile percentage, miles per truck per week, driver to non-driver ratio and many others
  • Domestic intermodal providers’ volume versus overall domestic intermodal volume or the key lanes in its network
  • Domestic intermodal carriers’ reported revenue per load against spot rates nationwide or in key lanes
  • Margins reported by 3PLs and truck brokers against margins industry wide


Is a company’s guidance conservative, aggressive, reasonable or stale? 

Financial analysis is all about gaining insight that the market doesn’t yet have. With SONAR, compare real time market trends to what the market already knows, (i.e., what management teams of public companies have included in their guidance and public comments). If you were in management’s shoes, and seeing these trends, what would you have to do with guidance? 

SONAR gives you access to changes in market conditions in real time, which provides a real edge on others who are relying on backwards-looking information or scripted comments from company management teams. Gain a competitive edge with SONAR.

Chart view of the Outbound Tender Reject Index.

Chart view of the Outbound Tender Reject Index.

A sampling of what you can analyze with SONAR:

  • Surges in tender rejections indicate that carriers are finding better opportunities in the spot market - carriers may be in for a good quarter and equipment orders may turn higher
  • Increases in tender lead times suggest that shippers are becoming concerned with securing capacity - that is evidence that the balance of pricing power is shifting to carriers
  • Major freight corridors becoming more imbalanced - that suggests a favorable market for brokers, sourcing cheap capacity in backhaul lanes
  • Inventories becoming bloated - freight volume may underperform economic trends
  • Customs data showing east coast ports expanding market share - a negative indicator for intermodal volumes since the east coast is more truck-competitive
  • Domestic intermodal outperforming international intermodal - a positive for the domestic truckload-based intermodal providers


How are companies performing intra-quarter? 

As public companies tell you: they are under no obligation to update their guidance. With SONAR, you see changes in freight trends taking place in real time so updates to company guidance won’t surprise you, they’ll just surprise everyone else.

Volatility of weekly market volumes on tree map.

Volatility of weekly market volumes on tree map.

A sampling of what you can monitor with SONAR:

  • How is a carrier’s volume guidance looking? Create a SONAR dashboard with volume tailored to that company’s equipment type, length of haul, major geographic markets and lanes.
  • Is truck capacity tightening? Monitor tender rejection rates by the specific equipment type and geography that impacts a company’s performance the most. 
  • Are brokers’ margins expanding this quarter? Gain insight into the cost effectiveness of sourcing capacity by monitoring lane balance, tender rejection rates and carriers’ spot rates. 
  • Covering a company that participates in the domestic intermodal market? Monitor those volumes without noise from international intermodal or less important lanes.


Are consensus estimates too high or too low? 

Companies are worth a multiple of projected earnings or cash flows. And beating the market is about recognizing those changes in value before everyone else does. SONAR can help analysts determine whether consensus projections are too optimistic or not optimistic enough, enhancing an analysts’ ability to select securities that outperform the broader averages.

Map and chart view of the Local Inbound Tender Lead Time Index.

Map and chart view of the Local Inbound Tender Lead Time Index.

A sampling of how SONAR can help you forecast:

  • Adjust earnings models for changes in daily data sets related to supply and demand.
  • Identify macro trends leading to sector or company outperformance or underperformance. 
  • Utilize productivity metrics to more accurately forecast carriers’ margins.
  • More accurately forecast brokers’ margins through a greater understanding of what they are paying for capacity.
  • Improve expense and cash flow projections by utilizing FreightWaves’ predictive rates tool which highlights upcoming changes in the rates carriers need to cover their operating expenses.

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