Westbound U.S. intermodal rates slipped again in the week of August 5, pulling down the overall national index, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The composite index edged down 0.3 percent or $5 to $2,018.
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 marginally larger declines this week. The top 18 index fell to $1,936, down $12, while the top 12 dropped $17, to $2,100.
“The index went down for the second week in a row. Outbound Chicago lanes were the primary market that helped bring the index down,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “The one market everyone has their eye on is outbound Los Angeles and it held fairly steady.”
East-west rates fell 1 percent or $18, down to $1,789 in the week of August 5. In the past two weeks, the average rate in this direction tumbled $63. The current rate is 0.6 percent above the rate seen in the first week of 2013. The rate for New Jersey-Los Angeles jumped 11.6 percent or $220 this week to $2,110, regaining nearly half of the $460 it lost last week. A 21.7 percent or $225 drop in the Dallas-Los Angeles lane offset this increase, as the average for the lane fell to $920.
West-east spot rates also slid this week, inching down 0.2 percent or $5 from the week of July 29, putting the rate at $2,387. The current rate is 4.7 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Most eastbound lanes remained unchanged or decreased this week, with Chicago-New Jersey having the largest drop, 3.5 percent or $55, to $1,530.
North-south rates increased 0.4 percent or $7 to $1,893, the highest average rate in this direction since May 20. The current index is 4.9 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. All individual trade lanes remained flat this week, with the exception of New Jersey-Atlanta, which jumped more than 5 percent or $50 to $1,010.
Rates for south-north lanes were mostly unchanged this week, showing a small decrease of 71 cents, after climbing for four straight weeks. The index sits at $1,766; it is currently 0.9 percent above the level seen in the first week of 2013. The only lane to see a decrease in this direction was Atlanta-Chicago, which edged down 0.6 percent or $5 to $820. All other lanes remained flat.