Transport Topics | Launches Spot Rate Forecasting Tool

10.16.17 | Roger Gilroy, Transport Topics, in partnership with the research firm FTR, launched Rate Forecasting, a tool that projects spot market rates by balancing seasonal, geographic, random, economic, regulatory and permanent trends with deep statistical modeling.

Rate Forecasting analyzes 10 years of market trends from across the marketplace and applies FTR’s proprietary economic modeling algorithm that measures 13 million data points each month. The forecast covers 160,000 lanes, state-to-state and three-digit zip as well as 6 million origin and destination pairs, according to the New Plymouth, Id.-based company.

“We’re offering really specific information that can help our customers adjust, anticipate and predict rates and make more informed business decisions,” Chief Relations Officer Brent Hutto said in a statement.

Users can search individual lanes and run custom calculations on Rate Forecasting by including it as an add-on to Rate Analysis,’s big data rate platform or by working with the company’s integrations team to pull forecast data into their own systems through Integrations, according to the company.

“I don’t think it benefits the shipper, broker or the carrier better, except in as much as a company has resources to take advantage of what it is putting out. So a smaller [entity] can still get a significant advantage by having this, versus having nothing before, but a large organization is going to be able to take it another step and use it in a much more significant fashion,” FTR Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Starks told Transport Topics.

Simply put, the new tool gives users a sense of how the spot market could be reacting in a given time frame, he said.

Asked if this could prompt a fundamental change in rate negotiations between parties, Starks said it has the potential to.

“Since it is so new, we are still trying to understand how do [users] view it, understand it, utilize it. But we think it has the potential change how [shippers and carriers] come together and work through forward-looking projections,” he said.

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  • "...FTR has also provided routine conference calls on current topics that serve to keep us updated on the latest trends. The bottom line is that FTR has been a consistent partner supporting our forecasting efforts and we look forward to many more years of working together...."