[WHITE PAPER] SONAR highlight reel: Contrary to typical seasonality, intermodal volume rises in Nov.

Tony MulveyFreight Market Blog, White Papers

See description of the just-released FreightWaves Trusted Rate Assessment Consortium (TRAC) spot rate data on pages 5-6. 

Truckload demand has started to pick up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Tender volumes grew by almost 1% over the past week, while accepted volumes were basically flat. The capacity situation remains difficult as one in five tenders is being rejected by carriers. Truckload rates are off the recent peak and unlikely to peak again. With that said, shippers should be hesitant to push rates down too fast while trying to take advantage of easing conditions.

Daily domestic intermodal volume rose 2.2% in November from October levels after increasing 8% from levels the prior two months. That indicates that railway fluidity is improving. What’s less encouraging for shippers is that intermodal contract rates increased in October, up about 14% year-over-year (y/y), which suggests that shippers that have not rebid their intermodal loads for a while will likely see a steep increase in rates.          

Maritime import volumes show signs of stabilization with TEU import volume at the L.A./Long Beach port complex down 13% from peak levels in May. Despite that drop in volume, the number of vessels at anchor in San Pedro Bay is still hovering around 80 with 5 vessels arriving daily. The current time from anchor to berth at the Port of L.A. is nearly 19 days.