The east-west intermodal index fell below where it stood at the beginning of 2013, putting all four directional U.S. intermodal indices below that of the first week of the year, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS.
All directional indices were down week-to-week except for south-north, putting the overall index down 0.9 percent to $1,981. This is the fourth straight weekly drop.
East-west rates slipped 3 percent or $52 to $1,746 in the week of May 6, down for a second straight week. Most east-west lanes had rates that were flat or down marginally. Atlanta-Los Angeles, for example, dropped 1.3 percent or $25 to $1,930. However, New Jersey-Los Angeles showed a huge drop of 18.7 percent or $405 to $1,760, which pulled down the lane’s average rate. This week’s east-west rate is down 1.9 percent from the beginning of 2013.
West-east spot rates slid 0.9 percent or $22 to $2,345 this week. The current rate is 6.4 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Individual trade lanes showed mostly downward shifts. The spot rate for Los Angeles-Houston fell 4.8 percent or $115 to $2,290.
North-south rates inched down 0.1 percent or $2 to $1,924. This is the fourth consecutive week of decline in this lane, although at a diminished pace. The current index is 3.4 percent lower than it was at the beginning of 2013. The spot rate for the Chicago-Dallas lane edged down 0.2 percent or $5 this week to $2,020.
South-north rates rose 0.8 percent or $14 to $1,696 this week, however, they remain down 3.1 percent from the beginning of the year. Two lanes that boosted prices in this direction were Dallas-Chicago and Dallas-New Jersey. Both increased 7.9 percent week-to-week. The rate in Dallas-Chicago climbed $75 to $1,025, and the rate in Dallas-New Jersey jumped $165 to $2,260.
Intermodal rates have been affected by the recent drop in diesel prices. Diesel prices fell for the tenth straight week, although by a much decelerated rate. During the past 10 weeks, prices have fallen 31 cents.