U.S. west-east intermodal rates fell another $20 during the week of April 1, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. Rates in this lane have been steadily dropping in the past three weeks, down $41 or 1.7 percent. The other regional indexes rose 0.2 percent during the last week.
West-east spot rates declined 0.8 percent to $2,437 this week, and is 2.7 percent lower than it was at the beginning of the year. Rates in all of the major trade lanes in this direction fell or remained flat this week. Los Angeles to North Kearny showed the steepest weekly decline of 5.6 percent or $190 to $3,195. Chicago-New Jersey and Los Angeles-Chicago also showed large declines. Chicago-New Jersey dropped 4 percent or $65 to $1,560 and Los Angeles-Chicago fell 3.2 percent or $75 to $2,305. There was little change in other west-east lanes. Los Angeles-New Jersey edged down 0.3 percent or $10 to $3,480; Seattle-Chicago inched down 0.3 percent or $5 to $1,910; and Los Angeles-Dallas slid 0.4 percent or $10 to $2,475. The rate for Los Angeles-Atlanta stayed at $2,820 this week.
IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore cited decreasing diesel prices as a cause of the overall intermodal price decline, which is at its lowest level this year, but said that “while the index has followed fuel, the intermodal index was at a higher percentage decrease this week, as compared to the diesel fuel prices.” Diesel prices fell 0.3 percent this week to $3.993 per gallon.
East-west spot rates inched up $3.33 to $1,731 per all-in 53-foot move, putting them down 2.7 percent from $1,779 at the beginning of 2013. This is the first increase in this lane’s rates since the end of February. North-south rates edged up $4.29 to $1,960, ending down 1.6 percent from $1,991 at the beginning of the year; south-north rates rose $3.57 to $1,743, which is 0.4 percent lower than it was at the start of the year.
Rates in those three trade lanes showed mixed shifts this week. Atlanta-Los Angeles increased 1.4 percent or $25 to $1,825, and Atlanta-Dallas rose 1.5 percent or $25 to $1,690. Chicago-Denver edged down 0.2 percent or $5 to $2,610. The north-south lane of Chicago-Dallas inched up 0.7 percent or $15 to $2,075, and New Jersey-Atlanta remained at $965 for a second week. Northbound lanes also showed varied shifts. Atlanta-Seattle rose 0.4 percent, or $10, to $2,825, while the Dallas-New Jersey dropped by the same rate of 0.4 percent or $10 to $2,290.