The overall index of U.S. intermodal rates for the week of July 22 rose $11 from the week before, due to increases in all directional indices except for eastbound lanes, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The index edged up 0.6 percent to $2,030.
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include the big-city lanes serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, experienced similar increases this week. The top 18 index rose to $1,967, up $11, while the top 12 rose by the largest amount, $17.50, to $2,149.
“For the second week, we’ve seen the index go up, but nothing that points to a general market move up,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “New Jersey continues to struggle with capacity, which has affected the index this week, but West to East Coast lanes, which are primarily Los Angeles lanes, are still holding steady, indicating ‘peak’ has not arrived.”
East-west rates gained 2 percent or $36, rising to $1,852 in the week of July 22. The current price is 4.1 percent above the rate seen in the first week of 2013. The rate for New Jersey-Chicago fell 5.6 percent or $45 to $755, the same level as two weeks ago. New Jersey-Los Angeles jumped 16.3 percent or $330 to $2,350, pulling the directional index up.
West-east spot rates inched down 0.2 percent or $4 from the week of July 15, putting the rate at $2,382. The current rate is 4.9 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Los Angeles-Atlanta saw the largest drop this week — 4.9 percent or $150, down to $2,930.
North-south rates edged up 0.6 percent or $11 to $1,889. The current index is 5.1 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Individual trade lanes were generally flat. The most significant increase by far, in the New Jersey-Dallas lane, was an increase of 5 percent or $90 to $1,885. A 4 percent or $40 decrease in the New Jersey-Atlanta lane evened out some of this increase, and set the rate for this Atlanta-bound lane at $960.
South-north lanes slightly increased this week by 0.3 percent or $6, putting the index at $1,761; it is currently 0.6 percent above the level seen in the first week of 2013. The highest increase in this directional index was a 2 percent or $60 climb from Atlanta to Seattle, to $3,090. There was one decline, the Dallas-Chicago lane, whose rate fell 5.2 percent or $50 to $905.