SONAR now has spot to contract rate spread

SONAR now contains a spot to contract rate spread index (RATES) to help users understand the short- and long-term relationships between transactional and long-term truckload pricing trends.

How quickly the market turns

Earnings season is upon us and executives of publicly traded transportation companies are providing their results from the first quarter. They are also providing updates on current market conditions and what they see ahead. The first major player to report earnings was J.B. Hunt, the largest domestic intermodal player in the industry. As expected, earnings  […]

Why do carriers expect pricing momentum to continue into 2022?

Earnings season is here and the general theme across truckload carriers is carrying higher rate momentum into 2022. Carriers have benefited from increased freight rates across the board, but not every carrier  experienced record revenue in the fourth quarter. Market conditions are still quite favorable for carriers, but driver retention and recruiting continue to be […]

Are shippers making a mistake with low contracted rates? – Freight Forecasting

Freight Forecasting with Michael Vincent

In this episode of FreightWavesTV’s Freight Forecasting, a key question is answered: Are shippers making a mistake with low contracted rates? Jason Miller, Associate Professor of Logistics at the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University, discusses the current freight market and the pitfalls of pulling forward the contracted rate bid cycle with […]

What is the difference between spot rates and contract rates

Trucks on road at sunset

When shippers are looking to move freight, they can pay one of two rates to do so: long-term contractual rates or short-term spot rates. Contract rates Contract rates make up 80% of the trucking market and make sense for both carriers and shippers when freight is consistent and travels on regular lanes. Contract rates are […]

How big is the contract market?


According to Goldman Sachs and SJ Consulting, the total North American trucking market generates $780 billion annually. Of this $780 billion, $360 billion is derived from for-hire full truckload, with most of the balance ($355 billion) from private fleets and the remainder ($65 billion) from less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers. Therefore, if we attempt to size the […]

Good news: The freight market is about to turn up

Freight market forecasting is a tricky game these days. Historical freight market data models provide good reference points, but because of the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 (a classic example of a black swan event), we have to rely on current data to understand what is taking place in the freight market. The good news is […]