An index of U.S. intermodal rates inched down for a second consecutive week in the week ending Oct. 28, pulled down by declines in east and westbound U.S. lanes. The overall index rate slipped 0.1 percent or $2.22, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS, to $2,136.
“Again, the story is Los Angeles outbound. The rate drop was primarily driven by Southern California and Northern California capacity opening up and the rates dropping in some of the key lanes,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “While the rates have dropped in the market, they are still anywhere from 4 to 10 percent higher than what we experienced at this same time last year in a number of the lanes, and this is with the average diesel price down 16 cents per gallon or 4.1 percent. With that said, most of the lanes tracked outside of Los Angeles-outbound have experienced a healthy decrease, as compared to last year.” Diesel prices saw their eighth straight week without an increase this week.
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include those serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, experienced larger decreases than the overall index in the week of Oct. 28. The top 18 index fell $9 to reach $2,056, while the top 12 dropped $18 to $2,247.
West-east spot rates fell for the second time in a row, following six weeks on the rise, inching down 0.7 percent, or $20, from the week of Oct. 21, to $2,784. The current rate is now 11.1 percent higher than at the beginning of the year. Los Angeles-Atlanta saw the largest decrease, falling 5.1 percent or $180 to $3,330.
The east-west index edged down for a fourth consecutive week, slipping 0.3 percent, or $6, to $1,712. The current rate is 3.8 percent below the rate seen in the first week of 2013. Rates in westbound lanes saw mixed shifts from the week before. The rate on the Chicago-Oakland lane saw an increase of 4.8 percent, or $105, which was balanced out by decreases in Los Angeles-bound lanes leaving from Denver and Dallas.
North-south rates remained flat at $1,833 in the week ending Oct. 28. The current index remains 8.0 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Rates in all southbound lanes were unchanged this week.
Rates for south-north lanes rose this week, climbing 0.8 percent, or $15. The index stood at $1,854, up 6.0 percent from the first week of 2013. Atlanta to New Jersey was up 4.0 percent, or $65, to $1,690, pulling up the overall northbound index. Most other lanes remained flat week-to-week.