The overall U.S. intermodal rate index showed a slight increase for a third straight week, rising 0.3 percent or $5.69 to $1,978.75, 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, saw less significant week-to-week changes of $3.75 to $2,063 and 83 cents to stay at $1,899 respectively.
“The increases in the Atlanta market were offset by the decreases in the Chicago market. We are still at the lower end of the pricing spectrum since beginning to look at the rates back in September of 2012,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said.
East-west rates inched up 0.7 percent or $13 to $1,777 in the week of June 3, the third consecutive week of increases in this direction. The current rate is now only 0.1 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. About half of the east-west lanes saw no change at all, while the others were up and down. Atlanta-Los Angeles had the biggest increase of the week: 3.8 percent or $75, to $2,060. The largest decline this week was in the Chicago-Los Angeles lane, which fell 1.6 percent or $30 to $1,810.
West-east spot rates dropped 0.3 percent or $7 to $2,328 from last week, slipping back into the slump they had experienced for 10 weeks prior to last week’s slight increase. The current rate is 7.1 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. The majority of individual trade lanes saw little to no change. Chicago-New Jersey had the biggest drop this week, declining 2.3 percent or $35 to $1,455.
South-north rates climbed 1.6 percent or $27 to $1,721. Rates have increased 2.5 percent or $42 in total over the past two weeks. However, the current rate is still down 1.7 percent from the beginning of the year. Individual northbound trade lanes mostly showed significant increases, led by two lanes out of Atlanta. The rate for Atlanta-New Jersey rose 4.7 percent or $75 to $1,680, and the rate for Atlanta-Seattle went up 4.3 percent or $120 to $2,940.
North-south rates were down 0.2 percent or $3 at $1,880, the second consecutive decline. The current index fell to 5.6 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Most north-south lanes remained flat or showed slight drops. Chicago-Atlanta experienced the largest decrease, dropping 1.6 percent or $20 to $1,220.
Diesel prices slipped 0.3 percent or 1 cent this week, the same rate of decline seen in the previous week.