Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Jan 8 2019 Blog Feature
Rick LaGore

By: Rick LaGore on January 8th, 2019

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Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - Jan 8 2019

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 11.5% over prior week. 

intermodal ramp trainsFor the week of Jan 8, 2019, domestic intermodal spot rate index:

  • Down 11.5% from prior week.
  • Down 16.6% from 90 days ago.
  • Up 10.3% from prior year.

 Lane Stats: 4.4% increased, 68.4% decreased and 27.2% went unchanged.   

This week's decrease is the big drop in the intermodal spot rates we have been telling everyone was coming. 

We anticipate intermodal spot rate will decrease further because of the continued slide in the truckload spot rate market.  As indicated in our prior writings on the topic, the truckload spot market reacts quicker to market dynamics than intermodal.

Assuming current market dynamics remain similar, we anticipate another 10% drop in the intermodal spot rates over the coming weeks.


Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate 

The national truckload spot rate, as reported by DAT, increased $0.03 a mile this week.  DAT reported the national truckload spot rate was $2.11 a mile.   Truckload spot rates are down 2.4% from prior year.   

The percentage spread between the year-over-year truckload and intermodal cost per mile decreased significantly this week coming in at a 9.1-point spread. 

Diesel Fuel Comments: 

The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.013 per gallon this week, which is a $0.035 decrease over prior week.  This is the twelfth consecutive week of a decrease.

The diesel price per gallon is up $0.017 or 0.6% higher from the same period last year.    

Oil prices per barrel increased this week, with WTI and Brent closing at $49.78 and $58.61 today, respectively.   The increase is roughly $2.50 from prior week.

The primary driver of the increase this week is Saudi Arabia indicated they were cutting production.  Even with this move by Saudi Arabia the story is not changing ... slowing world economies, building oil inventory, trade & tariff concerns and stronger dollar. 

The EIA's most current diesel price projection for diesel is $3.17 a gallon for calendar year 2018 and $2.95 a gallon for 2019.  The 2019 forecast was significantly decreased in its latest projection, which indicates the diesel price market will continue to soften. 

The EIA is projecting WTI and Brent oil prices per barrel for 2018 to settle in at the average of $65.18 and 71.40, respectively.  The price per barrel projections for 2019 for WTI and Brent are $54.19 and $61.00, respectively.

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 1.8

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Baseline 1.8

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Comparison 1.8

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Percentage 1.8

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Qtr-over-Qtr Comparison 1.8


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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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