U.S. intermodal rates remained relatively flat in the week ending March 25, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. All regional indexes kept within 1 percent of last week’s rates, although some trade lanes experienced bigger swings.
East-west spot rates fell 0.2 percent or $3.89 to $1,728 per all-in 53-foot move, putting them down 2.9 percent from $1,779 at the beginning of 2013. This is the 90-day low for this lane. North-south rates inched up 0.7 percent or $13.57 to $1,956, down 1.8 percent from $1,991 at the beginning of the year; south-north rates rose 0.8 percent or $14.29 to $1,739, which is 0.6 percent lower than it was at the start of the year. These rates are just slightly above their 90-day low.
East-west rates showed slight movement this week. Atlanta-Los Angeles inched up 0.6 percent or $10 for the second straight week to $1,800, while Chicago-Los Angeles climbed 0.7 percent or $10 to $1,510. Atlanta-Dallas slid 0.3 percent or $5 to $1,665, while Chicago-Denver edged down 0.4 percent or $10 to $2,615. The north-south lanes of Chicago-Dallas and New Jersey-Atlanta both fell this week. Chicago-Dallas went down 0.2 percent or $5 to $2,060, and New Jersey-Atlanta fell 3 percent or $30 to $965. The New Jersey-Dallas lane pulled the index up with an 8.1 percent or $145 increase to $1,925. Northbound lanes showed varied shifts. Atlanta-Seattle had the largest drop of the south-north lanes this week, just over 1 percent, or $30, to $2,815. The Dallas-New Jersey rate increased by 1.8 percent or $40 to $2,300.
West-east spot rates edged up 0.1 percent or $1.25 to $2,477 this week. This week’s rate is in the middle of the high of $2,518 and the low of $2,416 of the past 90 days. Chicago-New Jersey had the largest increase of the eastbound lanes this week, jumping 5.9 percent or $90 to $1,625. This lane has fluctuated the past few weeks, with a 3.2 percent drop last week following a 4.3 percent increase the week before that. Other lanes showed less significant weekly changes. Los Angeles-Chicago declined 0.4 percent or $10 to $2,380; Los Angeles-Atlanta edged up 0.2 percent or $5 to $3,055; and Los Angeles-Dallas slid 0.2 percent or $5 to $2,485. The rate for Los Angeles-New Jersey was $3,490, down 0.3 percent or $10. Seattle-Chicago fell 1.3 percent or $25 to $1,915.