An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes fell $93 from the week before to $2,014 in the week of Jan. 27, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS, erasing an $88 combined increase from the prior two weeks. The current rate is down 2.8 percent from the rate one year ago, when it stood at $2,072.
“The Midwest continues to get hit by the Arctic cold temperatures and the Chicago ramp is catching up. The catch-up is starting to get reflected in decreasing rates, which helped the index this week,” IDS Executive Vice President Rick LaGore said. “Actually, the majority of the lanes saw some type of decrease and put the index back to where it was about two weeks ago.”
The top 12 and top 18 combined lanes, which include those serving Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle, also fell in the week of Jan. 27. The top 12 index fell by much less than the 36-lane index, dropping $47 to $2,085, while the top 18 tumbled $106 this week to $1,946.
West-east spot rates slipped 2.3 percent or $59 this week to $2,454. The current rate is up 0.2 percent from the same week in 2013, due in part to the $102 combined increase of the previous two weeks. Almost all individual eastbound lanes experienced declines or remained flat this week. The largest decline was a 14.5 percent, or $690, fall in the Los Angeles-Miami lane, down to $4,055.
The east-west index fell 7.6 percent, or $142, to $1,730 in the week of Jan. 27. The current rate is down 9.1 percent year-over-year. Most east-west lanes declined. Outbound Chicago lanes to Oakland, Denver, and Seattle saw the largest drops, tumbling $675 each this week to $2,130, $2,535, and $3,015, respectively.
North-south rates dropped 5.0 percent or $98 to $1,865 this week. The current index is 4.6 percent below the rate during the same week of 2013. All major southbound lanes fell or remained flat. Most declines were minimal, but a 24 percent or $675 drop to $2,140 in the Chicago-Dallas lane pulled down the whole index.
Rates for south-north lanes inched up 0.1 percent or $2 this week to $1,757. This is 0.5 percent above the level in the same week last year. While most individual lanes decreased or were unchanged this week, a 3.8 percent or $105 increase in the Atlanta-Seattle lane, to $2,890, pulled the index up slightly.