Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Nov 30 2017
Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal and truckload spot market.
Comments on the Weekly Intermodal Rate Charts:
Domestic intermodal spot rates are:
- Up 0.3% from last week.
- Up 15.4% from 90 days ago.
- Up 29.7% from prior year.
Three year record high spot rates continue to have a grip on all 53' capacity, both truckload and domestic intermodal.
The ELD mandate headlines have taken over the hurricane storm conversation, as a reason for the dramatic rise in spot rates starting in mid-July. While the hurricanes were a life changing disaster for thousands, they were the "straw that broke the camel's back" on the spot rate market, not the driving factor for increasing rates. The storms' impact on the freight market would have been a short term impact on the logistics market if it were not for record imports, strong domestic economic growth, rising diesel rates and increasing ecommerce demand underpinning overall 53' capacity demands at the time the storms hit.
To add to the above comment, earlier in the year we spoke several times on a well balanced 53' capacity market, which was identified in the year-over-year price comparison charts. These charts depicted intermodal spot rates consolidating at a very consistent floor rate increase over prior year. This floor held for a record seven months between mid-December 2016 to the start of July 2017. Once the hurricanes hit freight demand pushed capacity requirements over the edge and put freight networks out-of-balance. The rest of the story is we expect at a minimum the elevated rates to continue through the end of the year.
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $2.926 per gallon this week, which is a $0.014 increase from the prior week. The price per gallon is up $0.506 or 20.9% higher from the same period last year.
Oil remains above $50, with WTI and Brent trading today at $57.50 and $63.80, respectively. We will be paying close attention to the upcoming OPEC meeting for clues as to where oil is headed, although US oil production strength has made OPEC less relevant to the oil equation.
The most recent projection by the EIA for diesel and oil prices were published on November 7. In the report, diesel is projected to average $2.83 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
- Price Changes in 53' Domestic Intermodal Pricing & Diesel - 1/1/2013 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
- Rolling Quarter-over-Quarter Comparison - 53' Domestic Intermodal and Diesel Fuel Prices