An index of U.S. intermodal rates climbed for a fifth straight week in the week ending Oct. 14, yielding a cumulative increase of $130, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The overall rate rose 1.1 percent or $23 in the week to $2,162.
“While the index went up it’s primarily because we continue to see Los Angeles’ outbound spot rates increase,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “For the most part, the majority of the other lanes held their own or had a slight decrease. We are starting to see a glimmer of some capacity coming back into Southern California, but that is on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day basis.”
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include those serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, saw increases significantly larger than that of the overall index in the week of Oct. 14. The top 18 index climbed $52 to reach $2,093, while the top 12 jumped $80 to $2,296.
West-east spot rates climbed for a sixth straight week, up 3.3 percent, or $90, from the week of Oct. 7, to $2,824. During the past six weeks, the average eastbound rate has jumped $431. The current rate is now 12.7 percent higher than at the beginning of the year. Large increases in two lanes pulled the eastbound average up: Los Angeles to New Jersey was up 24.3 percent, or $890, to $4,560; Chicago-New Jersey climbed 11.7 percent or $170 to $1,625.
The east-west index edged down further this week, slipping 0.6 percent, or $11, to $1,723. This is the fifth decrease in eight weeks. The current rate is 3.1 percent below the rate seen in the first week of 2013. The rate on the Atlanta-Los Angeles lane saw the largest decline this week, down 3.7 percent, or $70, to $1,820.
North-south rates inched up 0.4 percent, or $9, to $1,914 in the week ending Oct. 14. The current index remains 3.9 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Rates in all southbound lanes remained flat this week, with the exception of New Jersey to Atlanta, which saw a 6.7 percent, or $60, increase, to $960.
Rates for south-north lanes fell 1.6 percent, or $30, this week. The index stood at $1,823, up 4.2 percent from the first week of 2013. Atlanta to New Jersey fell 11.9 percent, or $220, to $1,625, pulling down the overall northbound index.