U.S. intermodal rates fell $8 in the week of Aug. 19, pulling the average down to a six-week low at $2,009, 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 serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, saw declines similar to that of the overall index. The top 18 index fell to $1,922, down $5, while the top 12 dropped roughly $8 to $2,082.
“The biggest moves in individual lanes came from New Jersey outbound lanes, as capacity loosened up,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “Some lanes into Los Angeles continue to move down, while L.A. outbound held its own on most lanes, with a few increases, indicating railroads are preparing for greater outbound volume in the market around the corner.”
East-west rates fell 1.4 percent, or $26, to $1,742 in the week of Aug. 19, the fourth consecutive week of decreasing rates in this direction. In the past four weeks, the average rate tumbled $111. The current rate is 2.1 percent below the rate seen in the first week of 2013. Westbound lanes remained flat this week with the exception of two declines: Chicago-Los Angeles fell 7.6 percent, or $130, to $1,585, and Atlanta-Los Angeles declined 5 percent, or $100, to $1,910.
West-east spot rates edged up 0.5 percent or $11 from the week of Aug. 12, putting the rate at $2,402. The current rate is 4.1 percent lower than at the beginning of the year, but the rate has risen 0.9 percent from where it stood four weeks ago. This was the highest increase among the directional indices during the past month. Most individual trade lanes remained unchanged this week, with the exception of a few minor increases. Los Angeles-Atlanta had the largest increase: 3.2 percent, or $95, to $3,095.
North-south rates dropped 1.5 percent, or $28, to $1,883 in the week of Aug. 19. The current index remains 5.5 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. The outbound New Jersey lanes saw the steepest declines in this lane. Rates for lanes from New Jersey to Dallas and Atlanta fell 6.9 percent to $1,810 and $940, respectively.
Rates for south-north lanes remained flat this week. The index remained at $1,765, up 0.9 percent from the first week of 2013. Rates from Dallas to Chicago slipped 1.1 percent, or $10, to $900; those for the Atlanta-Chicago lane rose 1.2 percent, or $10, to $820.