An index of U.S. intermodal rates fell again in the week ending Nov. 18, pulled lower by declines in all four directional indices this week. The overall index rate of the top 36 U.S. lanes decreased 2.2 percent, or $46, to $2,076, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The index has fallen roughly $70 during the past two weeks.
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include those serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, saw steep declines as well in the week of Nov. 18. The top 18 index fell $61 to $1,975, its first dip below the $2,000 mark in eight weeks. The top 12 tumbled $103 to $2,125.
“The big news is Los Angeles outbound lanes dropped between 3 and 10 percent,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “We’re not at pre-peak levels in pricing, but we are getting there.”
West-east spot rates eroded 3.3 percent or $90 this week to $2,661. This is the fifth straight week without an increase in this lane, but the current rate remains 6.2 percent higher than at the beginning of the year. Most eastbound lanes saw rates decline or remain flat this week. The largest drop was in the Los Angeles-Chicago lane, which fell 9.4 percent or $260 to $2,510.
The east-west index resumed its decline in the week of Nov. 18, slipping 1.3 percent, or $23, to $1,688. Rates had briefly increased last week following a five-week slump, but all gains were erased this week. The current rate is 5.1 percent below the rate seen in the first week of 2013. Rates declined in almost all westbound lanes this week. The rate on the Chicago-Los Angeles lane saw the largest decrease: 12.8 percent, or $210, to $1,430.
North-south rates edged down 0.2 percent or $3 to $1,827 in the week ending Nov. 18. The current index is 8.2 percent below the rate at the beginning of 2013. Rates in southbound lanes showed little movement this week, with all lanes moving up or down by no more than $10.
Rates for south-north lanes dropped 2.2 percent, or $41, this week. The index stood at $1,801, up only 2.9 percent from the first week of 2013. The index has lost $138 in the past two weeks. The Los Angeles-Tacoma lane saw the biggest drop of the south-north lanes, falling 7.9 percent, or $235, to $2,735.