Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Dec 11 2018 Blog Feature
Rick LaGore

By: Rick LaGore on December 12th, 2018

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Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Dec 11 2018

Intermodal | diesel fuel price | truckload | intermodal spot rate index trendlines | intermodal spot rates

Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal spot rate market.

The InTek intermodal spot rate index decreased 1.0% over prior week. 

road and railFor the week of December 11, 2018, domestic intermodal spot rate index:

  • Down 1.0% from prior week
  • Down 2.4% from 90 days ago.
  • Up 19.2% from prior year.

Lane Stats: 17.5% increased, 74.6% decreased and 7.9% went unchanged.   

The underlying intermodal spot market is showing more weakness in the details than the overall decrease of 1.0% indicates, with many lanes dropping between 3.5% to 5.0% from the prior week.  A handful of high-volume key market lanes held this week that are associated with what is typically thought of as "peak season" lanes.  What this dynamic is projecting is the thought that once the "peak lanes" drop we will see an air pocket to the downside at the start of 2019, once the pull forward tariff freight makes its way through the intermodal network.

Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate 

The national truckload spot rate, as reported by DAT, increased $0.06 a mile this week.  DAT reported the national truckload spot rate was $2.14 a mile.   Truckload spot rates are up 0.5% from prior year.   

The percentage spread between the year-over-year truckload and intermodal cost per mile decreased this week coming in at a 13.7 point spread.  We expect to see the spread continue to tighten in the 1st quarter of 2019, with the tightening of the spread driven more by decreasing intermodal spot rates than truckload.

Diesel Fuel Comments: 

The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.161 per gallon this week, which is a $0.046 decrease over prior week.  This is the eighth consecutive week of a decrease.

The diesel price per gallon is up $0.251 or 8.6% higher from the same period last year.    

Oil prices decreased roughly $1.50 from the prior week, with WTI and Brent closing at $51.20 and $60.14, respectively.  

The story is not changing here ... slowing world economies, trade & tariff concerns, stronger dollar, Iran sanctions were softened.  OPEC did step in with an annoucement of decreased production, which initially drove the price up but it has sense faded.

The EIA's most current diesel price projection for diesel is $3.19 a gallon for calendar year 2018 and $3.21 a gallon for 2019.

The full spreadsheet of the historical weekly price moves of diesel full can be found at

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 Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel-22

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Baseline



Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Comparison-21

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Percentage-21

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Qtr-over-Qtr Comparison-21

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

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About Rick LaGore

Rick is the co-founder and CEO of InTek Freight & Logistics, a company focused on being the place where companies come when faced with a logistics problem.

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