The overall U.S. intermodal index inched up 0.1 percent or $2.22 this week due to increases in the east-west and north-south directional indices, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The overall index declined in 10 of the past 12 weeks.
East-west rates showed a 0.3 percent or $4.44 increase to $1,741 in the week of May 20, following three weeks of declines. Most east-west indexed lanes were flat this week, with a few ups and downs. New Jersey-Los Angeles saw the highest increase of the week: 2.6 percent or $45, to $1,800. Atlanta-Los Angeles saw the biggest drop in this lane, falling 1.1 percent or $20 to $1,880. This week’s east-west rate is down 2.2 percent from the beginning of 2013.
North-south rates increased 1.5 percent or $28 to $1,908. The current index is 4.2 percent lower than it was at the beginning of 2013. Most north-south lanes remained flat or saw increases week-to-week. The spot rate for the Chicago-Atlanta lane experienced the highest increase of 7.1 percent or $90 to $1,365.
West-east spot rates edged down 0.4 percent or $8.75 to $2,316 from last week. This is the fourth consecutive week of declines in this lane. The current rate is 7.6 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Individual trade lanes varied but had mostly unchanged rates this week. The spot rate for Los Angeles-New Jersey fell 7.2 percent or $235 to $3,050, the largest drop in the lane.
South-north rates slid another 0.4 percent or $7 to $1,682. They are down 3.9 percent from the beginning of the year. Individual northbound trade lanes saw little to no change in rates, except for Dallas-Chicago, which dropped 7.3 percent or $75 to $950.
Diesel prices rose 0.6 percent or 2 cents this week, up 4.5 cents total in the past 2 weeks.