Lincoln's logs: Take a look at Houston

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

by FreightWaves’ Lincoln Duff

Hello and welcome to another edition of Lincoln’s Logs, where I call out some of my favorite data in SONAR that can empower you to make actionable decisions to help keep your trucks rolling and increase revenues. 

Today we’re going to take a look at how a weather event that happened a few weeks ago can have a big effect on today’s freight market. Let’s take a look at Houston.

We can start by looking at the top row, which looks at the volatility of the Houston market. The first thing I notice is outbound volumes have continued their steep decline, down 13.7% day over day, and down 22% total in the last three weeks. When I look at the history of the Houston market volumes, this is the longest sustained drop that I’ve seen from our data, which tells me something abnormal is going on. The box on the right shows maritime imports into the Houston port, and we can see from my callout box that there was a huge dip during the middle of September. That was a direct result of the torrential rainstorms, diverting ships bound for HOU, to other ports. 

We’re now seeing that reflected in our Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI.HOU). So if you’ve struggled to find loads out of Houston the last week or so, I would expect that to change. Imports rebounded back to normal levels, which means with the lag, we should expect OTVI to recover quickly as well. This means loads will be plentiful and everything should be back to normal. 

As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, myself and our team of market experts are happy to answer anything that comes up. I look forward to hearing from you soon!