Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis
Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal spot rate market.
Week of December 10, 2019:
The InTek intermodal spot rate index decreased 0.3% over the prior week.
For the week of December 10, 2019, domestic intermodal spot rate index:
- Down 0.3% from prior week.
- Down 2.5% from 90 days ago.
- Down 30.4% from prior year.
Lane Stats: 5.2% increased, 14.7% decreased and 80.1% went unchanged.
The overall index has dropped back to rates not seen since the first week of August 2017.
North American intermodal volume continue to decrease from prior reporting.
YTD 2019 volume is down 3.8% from prior YTD.
Breaking the volume down by equipment, TOFC is down 15.5% and COFC is down 2.8%.
By region, volume is down 4.9% in the US, up 0.5% in Canada and down 2.8% in Mexico.
Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate
The national truckload spot rate increased 2.2% last week, as reported by the DAT Trendline Report.
The spread in the year-over-year national truckload average rate per mile and intermodal spot rates remain in favor of intermodal, with truckload spot rates down 12.4% and domestic 53' intermodal down 25.6%.
Falling intermodal spot rates will eventually bring modal conversion conversations back to the market, but with trucking capacity relatively loose shippers continue to favor their truckload strategy.
For a more detailed review of competitiveness of truckload versus intermodal, we direct people to The Journal of Commerce. This group publishes research every quarter entitled "US Intermodal Savings Index" that does a nice job comparing lane-to-lane spot rates that is worth the read for those interested in the intermodal and truckload freight market.
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.049 per gallon this week, which is down $0.021 from the prior week.
The diesel price per gallon is down $0.112 or 3.5% from the same period last year.
WTI and Brent crude oil pricing continues to remain relatively flat this week with WTI and Brent trading in the range of $58.75 and $63.70, respectively.
The backdrop of slowing consumption brought on by a weaken global economy that is the result of the USA and China trade tensions have put a lid to oil prices and kept pricing in a very tight range.
The EIA's December 2019 diesel price average price projection is $3.06 per gallon for calendar year, which held from last month's forecast.
In the same report, the EIA increased its average price per barrel oil projections for 2019 from what it had in November's report. The latest projections are below:
- WTI $56.74
- Brent $63.93
EIA's most recent projection for diesel and oil for 2020:
- Diesel - $3.09
- WTI - $ 55.01
- Brent - $60.51
The full spreadsheet of the historical weekly price moves of diesel full can be found at https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/.
Intermodal Spot Rate Trend Graphs
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