Truckload, Intermodal Rates Rose in February, Cass Says

Truckload, Intermodal Rates Rose in February, Cass Says

Truckload pricing in February increased 4.3 percent from the same month in 2012, but declined 0.1 percent from January, according to the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index.

February was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year growth for truckload rates tracked by the index, which uses January 2005 as its base, which has risen from a reading of 109.5 in September 2012 to 113.8 in February 2013.

Despite the steeper-than-normal cost increases in late 2012, due in part to Hurricane Sandy, the higher rates are expected to continue in 2013, as supply and demand seem to be relatively balanced, Cass Information Systems said.

Intermodal rates reached a new eight-year high in each of the last two months, according to the Cass Intermodal Linehaul Index. February’s rates were 9.9 percent higher than a year ago and 2.2 percent higher than January.

The intermodal pricing index, which also uses January 2005 as its base, showed a reading of 110.6 in February and 108.2 in January, continuously rising from 102.0 in October 2012. The high costs can be attributed to continued increases in intermodal volumes.

Intermodal carriers could secure mid-single-digit line-haul rate increases in 2013 tanks to robust demand for domestic intermodal, slower growth in container capacity and continued improvement in rail service, according to Avondale Partners’ February report.