Daily Tip: Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI)

Ashley McAvoyDaily Tips

Did you know? You can find trends and changes in spot market rates using Outbound Tender Rejection Rates

Each day we’ll send you a daily tip designed to guide you to becoming a SONAR expert. If you have any questions, please contact your Customer Success Representative or email the team at cs@freightwaves.com.

Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI) rates are measurements of carriers’ willingness to accept the loads that are tendered to them by shippers under contract terms. OTRI is expressed as a percentage of loads rejected to total loads tendered. OTRI can be viewed at a national, regional, state or market level, and can be broken down by both trailer type and length of haul. 

Example: A market has 100 tendered loads accepted, and 4 loads rejected. 

OTRI =  4 / 100 =  .04 or 4.00% 

View Outbound Tender Rejection Rates in the U.S. Map feature

Outbound Tender Rejection Index – U.S. Map view

Carriers: OTRI gives carriers a view of spot market activity. When spot market rates increase, you will see an increase in OTRI (blue markets) as carriers decline contracted loads in search of higher paying freight on the spot market. When the spot market declines, you will see a decline in OTRI (white markets) as carriers settle back and accept their contracted freight.  

Brokers: Volatility in a market can lead to higher margins for brokers. Brokers are able to pinpoint volatile markets based on high tender rejection rates, and target spot market loads. OTRI can also help brokers make decisions to accept or reject loads on their contracted freight based on high or low tender rejection rates.

Shippers: Fluctuations in spot rates can alter shippers’ ability to find capacity to cover their loads. Current trends in OTRI can help shippers make decisions such as extending or shortening tender lead times to better ensure capacity for their loads.   

Better understand carriers’ reactions to current market conditions using outbound rejections. The higher the OTRI percentage, the less carrier availability to move freight at the contracted rate in the market. Carriers reject loads for one of two reasons: 1) lack of available capacity; or 2) the rate is too low. Fast movements up or down in a market indicate potential spot market activity as well as freight volume surges and network imbalances. 

OTRI data helps users be proactive by predicting the direction spot market rates are moving through upward and downward trends in a market. 


1) Click U.S. Map to view the OTRI at a high level to see which markets have elevated tender rejection rates. 

  • Markets that are shaded a darker blue indicate a higher percentage of contracted loads being rejected.
  • Markets that are shaded a light blue or white indicate a lower percentage of contracted loads being rejected. 

2) Click Chart to view the historical trends and changes in the OTRI.

  • Markets with positive trends indicate that spot market rates are on the rise.
  • Markets with negative trends indicate that spot market rates are declining.
  • Break down OTRI into VOTRI for dry van equipment, and ROTRI for reefer equipment to understand the trends and changes by equipment type. 

Pro Tip: Use OTRI in conjunction with the Headhaul Index (HAUL) to see both capacity in a market and the direction spot rates are trending. 

If you have questions about outbound tender rejection rates, please contact us at cs@freightwaves.com. 

Happy Hauling,

FW Team