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Intermodal Spot Rates Decrease for 3rd Consecutive Week - June 5 2018

by Rick LaGore on 2018-06-06 16:13:03

blended truck and rail

Domestic intermodal spot rates are:

  • Down 2.2% from prior week.
  • Up 1.8% from 90 days ago.
  • Up 37.7% from prior year.

The intermodal spot rate index decreased for the third consecutive week.  (For our weekly followers, there was an error in last week's data that has since been adjusted.  We apologize for the error.)

The major market trends driving the rate change are:

  • Chicago outbound spot rates decreased an average of 13.0%
  • Outbound California lanes increased an average of 4.0%
  • Outbound NJ ramps increased an average of 1.4%
  • Outbound Seattle increased an average of 5.0%
  • Most every inbound lane into California decreased

DAT reported a 1.9% increase per mile this week with the current national dry van spot rate of $2.19 a mile.  The dry van average spot rate is 28% higher than last year. 

The expectation is truck and 53' domestic spot rate year-over-year change will drift together over the third quarter.  Intermodal spot rates will trend down to meet rising truck spot rates. 

Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported North American weekly intermodal volume was up 3.2% compared to the same week in 2017, while cumulative year-over-year volume is 5.5%

TOFC growth continues to outpace container growth with 16.0% year-over-year growth versus 4.7% COFC growth, which is an indicator that there is not enough containers to meet current demand.  InTek is following that trend as it works with new 53' trailer manufactures to provide shippers with additional capacity through the new trailers coming off the lines, while helping the manufacturers position their new equipment into their network.

Diesel Fuel Comments: 

The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.285 per gallon this week, which is a $0.003 decrease from the prior week and broke the trend of ten consecutive weeks where diesel prices increased. 

The diesel price per gallon is up $0.721 or 28.1% higher from the same period last year.    

Oil prices continue their downward trend with WTI and Brent trading today in the range of $64.90 and $75.50, respectively.  Political instability remains in the headlines, but production and demand are certainly contributing factors in oil prices.  

The EIA for diesel and oil prices increased its projection of the diesel fuel average for the year to be $3.12 in calendar year 2018.  

The full spreadsheet of the historical weekly price moves of diesel full can be found at https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/

Graphs listed below include:

  • 53' Domestic Intermodal Price Index & Diesel Fuel Prices
  • Variance to January 1, 2013 Baseline
  • Rolling 52 Year-over-Year Comparison - 53' Domestic Intermodal and Diesel Fuel Prices
  • Rolling 52 Year-over-Year % Change - 53' Domestic Intermodal and Diesel Fuel Prices
  • 53' Domestic Intermodal and Diesel Prices Quarter-Over-Quarter Comparison
 Intermodal & Diesel Prices-52

 Intermodal & Diesel Compare to Baseline-26

 Intermodal & Diesel Yr-over-Yr Comparison-52

 Intermodal & Diesel Yr-over-Yr Percentage Comparison-13

Intermodal & Diesel Qtr-over-Qtr Comparison-50

For more on 53' domestic intermodaltruckload and managed transportation services, please sign-up for our weekly blogs and visit the InTek Freight and Logistics website.

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