The overall U.S. intermodal rate index increased 0.5 percent or $9.58 to $1,973 this week due to increases in three of the four 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 top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include the big city lanes of Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, had larger week-to-week increases of $38 to $2,060 and $26 to $1,899 respectively.
“I would say the index increase was not as much a function of an upward trend, but because the rates have been trending down and been fairly low in the beginning weeks of May,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said.
East-west rates rose 1.3 percent or $23 to $1,764 in the week of May 27, the second consecutive week of increases in this direction. This pulled the current rate up to just 0.8 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Some east-west lanes experienced slight dips this week, but the increases in other lanes were more significant. Atlanta-Los Angeles saw the highest increase of the week: 5.6 percent or $105, to $1,985, following three weeks of rate declines in this lane.
West-east spot rates edged up 0.8 percent or $18 to $2,334 from last week. This is the first increase in the west-east index since March 11, when it rose 0.3 percent. The current rate is 6.8 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Individual trade lanes varied, ranging from a 3.1 percent or $75 decline in Los Angeles-Dallas to $2,355 to a 7.7 percent or $235 increase in Los Angeles-New Jersey to $3,285, which canceled out a $235 drop in that lane last week, leaving the LA-N.J. rate at the same level at which it stood two weeks ago.
South-north rates climbed 0.9 percent or $15 to $1,694. They are down 3.2 percent from the beginning of the year. Individual northbound trade lanes saw mostly slight decreases this week, but the overall index was brought up by a 10 percent or $95 increase in the Dallas-Chicago lane to $1,045. This followed a drop of $75 in that lane last week.
North-south rates fell 1.3 percent or $25 to $1,883, the only direction to see a drop this week. The current index fell to 5.5 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Most north-south lanes merely inched down, with the exception of Chicago-Atlanta, which experienced a drop of 9.2 percent or $125 to $1,240. As seen in other lanes, this large week-to-week change brought it close to even with the rate from two weeks ago, as it had increased $90 last week.
Diesel prices slipped 0.3 percent or 1 cent this week, after rising 4.5 cents during the 2 weeks prior.