All four directional U.S. intermodal indices fell this week, bringing the overall index down 1.2 percent or $25 in the week of April 29 to $2,000, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. This is the lowest overall index in 2013.
East-west rates slipped 0.7 percent or $12 to $1,804 this week, the first weekly decline in this lane in April. “Virtually all the lanes we track in the index stayed flat or decreased as compared to the prior week,” said IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore. Chicago-Denver, for example, inched down 0.8 percent or $20 to $2,570. This week’s east-west rate is up 1.4 percent from the beginning of 2013, remaining the only directional index still above where it stood in January.
West-east spot rates dipped to $2,366 this week, down 1.6 percent or $39. The current rate is 5.6 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Individual trade lanes showed downward shifts. The spot rate for Los Angeles-Chicago fell 2.4 percent or $55 to $2,220, and Los Angeles-Dallas inched down 0.8 percent or $20 to $2,440.
North-south rates slipped 0.7 percent or $13 to $1,926. This is the third straight week of declines in this lane. The current index is 3.3 percent lower than it was at the beginning of 2013. The spot rate for the Seattle-Atlanta lane edged down 0.9 percent or $25 this week to $2,885.
South-north rates fell 1.5 percent or $26 to $1,681 this week, which is down 3.9 percent from the beginning of the year. One key lane in this direction is Dallas-New Jersey, which slipped 6.3 percent or $140 to $2,095. This was the biggest week-to-week decrease in this lane.
“As fuel decreases, so does the overall index,” LaGore said. Diesel prices fell for the ninth straight week, down 31 cents during this streak.