Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Dec 4 2018 Blog Feature
Rick LaGore

By: Rick LaGore on December 5th, 2018

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Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Dec 4 2018

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

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

The InTek intermodal spot rate index increased 1.3% over prior week. 

Trucks on the roadFor the week of December 4, 2018, domestic intermodal spot rate index:

  • Up 1.3% from prior week
  • Up 0.7% from 90 days ago.
  • Up 20.4% from prior year.

Lane Stats: 7.0% increased, 50.0% decreased and 43.0% went unchanged.   

The intermodal spot market continues to show weakness from its October 1, 2018 high.  The individual lanes are showing more weakness than the 1.3% increase on the index would indicate.   With the peak season box surcharge coming off in the SoCal market outbound rates dropped roughly 4.5%.  Also, outbound Seattle is cooling off with the average rate decreasing 6.1%.  While we are expecting a slight bump into the end of the year at an overall index level, the underlying intermodal spot market appears there will be more weakness to come in January.

Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate 

The national truckload spot rate, as reported by DAT, increased $0.01 a mile this week.  DAT reported the national truckload spot rate was $2.08 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 increased this week coming to a 14.1 point spread.  The increase was driven more by the fact the truckload rate dropped from 3.5% to 0.5% increase on a year-over-year comparison, while intermodal increased slightly.  

Diesel Fuel Comments: 

The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.207 per gallon this week, which is a $0.054 decrease over prior week.  This is the seventh consecutive week of a decrease.

The diesel price per gallon is up $0.285 or 9.8% higher from the same period last year.    

Oil prices increased slightly over prior week, with WTI and Brent closing at $53.00 and $61.70, respectively.  

The story is not changing here ... slowing world economies, trade & tariff concerns, stronger dollar, Iran sanctions were softened and OPEC and non-OPEC nations continue to produce at record levels.  There is an OPEC meeting on the horizon that is sending mixed signals, so expect more volatility ahead.

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-21

 Baseline Analysis - Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel-20

 Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Comparison-20

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Percentage-20

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Qtr-over-Qtr Comparison-20

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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