Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Feb 18 2019
Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal spot rate market.
The InTek intermodal spot rate index increased 0.1% over prior week.
For the week of Feb 18, 2019, domestic intermodal spot rate index:
- Up 0.1% from prior week.
- Down 19.2% from 90 days ago.
- Down 1.8% from prior year.
Lane Stats: 14.8% increased, 4.3% decreased and 80.9% went unchanged.
Intermodal spot rates held relatively flat this week, as compared to last week.
The year-over-year comparison flipped to negative this week. Readers should expect to see the year-over-year intermodal spot rate variance continue to run negative against 2018. The reason being is the 2018 intermodal spot market experienced explosive growth that will be hard to beat without economic growth beyond what is currently being projected.
YTD North American intermodal volumes are down 0.1% from prior YTD.
United States and Canada are up 0.5% and 0.4% respectively, while Mexico is down 11.5%.
In looking at the equipment being utilized for N.A. intermodal, YTD North American trailer volume is down 2.0%, with containers flat to last year.
The intermodal volume for the past few 3 of 4 weeks have been negative to their representative prior year weeks, indicating there is a slowdown afoot that anlysts will surely be watching closely.
Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate
The national truckload spot rate, as reported by DAT, decreased $0.01 a mile or 0.5% from the prior week. DAT reported the national truckload spot rate was $1.90 a mile. Truckload spot rates are down 13.0% from prior year.
It's suboptimal for modal conversion (truckload to intermodal) when the national truckload spot rate per mile is down 13.0% on a mileage basis from the prior year, while the national intermodal spot rate per mile is down only 0.9%.
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.006 per gallon this week, which is flat from the prior week.
The diesel price per gallon is down $0.021 or 0.7% lower from the same period last year.
WTI and Brent crude are up roughly $3 a barrel, with WTI and Brent trading in the range of $56.75 and $66.75, respectively.
Oil prices remain a big question mark for many logistics professionals in 2019, with political pressure, projections of slowing world economies, building oil inventory, trade & tariff concerns and stronger dollar.
The EIA's most current diesel price projection for diesel is a $2.94 per gallon price for 2019.
The February EIA price per barrel projections for 2019 inched up this month with the new thinking being the average WTI and Brent prices per barrel for 2019 to be $54.79 and $61.03, respectively.
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