January is traditionally a slow month for freight, following the Christmas and New Year holidays. This year, however, may be a bit different given the events of 2020 and the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Rates and demand have cooled slightly, but not by as much as in previous Januarys. Outbound tender volumes remain relatively high. Today’s Trucker Tools Market Index Report shows a surge in demand for reefer capacity in the Norfolk, Va., region, as well as increased demand for flatbed capacity across Southern states.

Snowstorms and wind gusts continue today across the Oregon Cascades, Blue Mountains and Rockies of Northern Idaho. A cold front and another storm could mean more snow on Friday in the Northwest and Eastern California. Drive safe!

Hot Markets 

  • Trucker Tools’ Market Index shows that the highest demand and rates for flatbed in the next week will be in Southwest, Ontario (Canada); Texarkana, Texas; Allentown, Pa.; Lubbock, Texas; Bowling Green, Ky.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Roanoke, Va. 
  • Tucson, Ariz., and Norfolk, Va., are predicted to be the hottest reefer markets over the next five to seven days.
  • Twin Falls, Idaho, is predicted to be the region with the highest demand for power only capacity in the coming week.

Cold Markets 

  • Expect flatbed rates to decrease this week for Joplin, Mo., and Stockton, Calif. 
  • Demand and rates for reefer capacity will be falling in the next five to seven daysfor Hartford, Conn., and Las Vegas, Nev. 
  • You also can expect to see a drop-off in demand for power only capacity in San Francisco, as well as a decrease in demand for van capacity in Rapid City, S.D., in the coming week.

Trucker Tools’ Market Insights

  • Demand for reefer capacity in the Norfolk, Va., region continues to rise. The region’s large food/beverage and biopharma industries are likely driving demand. 
  • Biopharma companies Pfizer, the maker of one of the leading Covid-19 vaccines, and AstraZeneca both are headquartered in Norfolk, Va.
  • Norfolk, Va., also is home to the Virginia Port Authority’s largest terminal, which recently increased its capacity by 46 percent thanks to a two-year, $452 million terminal optimization project.
  • Twin Falls, Idaho, where demand and rates for power only capacity will likely increase in the next week, has been a major processing center for agricultural commodities for nearly 100 years.

Today’s SONAR Insights

FreightWaves is reporting that national outbound tender rejection rates and volumes have only decreased somewhat since the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The national outbound tender rejection rate yesterday was 24.5 percent, which is much higher than at this time in previous years. The central part of the United States is seeing an uptick in demand for capacity, while demand for capacity in some parts of the West Coast are declining.

SONAR Hottest Lanes for Drivers and Carriers

FreightWaves’ SONAR Daily Watch reports that demand for dry van capacity is falling in the Dallas market, while it’s increased for Houston. If Dallas to Houston is one of your preferred lanes, you may want to accept more loads in the Houston market, where dry van rejections rates have hit 25 percent. SONAR also recommends accepting tendered loads in the Los Angeles to Chicago lane, as Chicago’s outbound tender rejection rate just hit 24 percent. 

Trucker Tools’ Market Index Reports are published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more insights into the hottest markets for truckers, read Norfolk Reefer, Jonesboro Flatbed and Charleston Power Only Among Hottest Markets for Truckers/Carriers. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/