U.S. intermodal rates for the week of July 8 inched down 0.4 percent from the week before, with rates slipping for a second consecutive week, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The index fell $8.33 to $1,999.17 in the week of July 8.
“We saw the rates decrease, primarily because the New Jersey to the west lanes in the index saw a healthy reduction that helped offset some moderate increases in other lanes within the index,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said.
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include the big-city lanes of Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, experienced moderately larger declines than the overall average this week. The top 18 index dropped $14 to $1,924, while the top 12 fell by the largest amount, $21, to $2,088.
East-west rates dropped roughly 1 percent or $17 to $1,797 in the week of July 8, following two weeks of increases. This put the current price only 1 percent above the rate seen in the first week of 2013. The majority of the indexed east-west lanes saw little movement this week. The two outbound lanes from New Jersey pulled the index down: the rate for New Jersey-Chicago fell 14.2 percent or $125 to $755, while New Jersey-Los Angeles slid 7 percent or $140 to $1,880.
West-east spot rates inched up 0.1 percent or $1.25 from the week of July 1, putting the rate at $2,358. The current rate is 6 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. The performance of individual eastbound trade lanes varied slightly. Seattle-Chicago saw the largest drop, falling 2.6 percent or $50 to reach $1,875. The largest west-east increase this week was in the Denver-Chicago lane, which was up 1.6 percent or $20 to $1,275.
South-north lanes remained flat this week, seeing only a 71 cent increase week-to-week. The index sits at $1,748, 0.1 percent below the level of the first week of 2013. Rates in south-north lanes varied, with mostly small decreases and increases. However, there were two larger changes that balanced each other out. The highest increase was in the Houston-Chicago lane, which rose 4.7 percent or $55 to $1,225. This was pulled down by a 4.7 percent or $40 decrease in the Atlanta-Chicago lane, to $810.
North-south rates fell 1.4 percent or $26 to $1,858. The current index is 6.7 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Individual trade lanes saw mixed shifts. There were slight increases along with larger decreases. The largest decrease was in New Jersey-Dallas, which fell 6 percent or $115, after climbing 6 percent last week, to $1,795.
This week, diesel prices rebounded after six straight weeks of declines, increasing 1 cent. Prices increased in all U.S. regions except for the New England and Rocky Mountain regions.