Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - March 12 2019
Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal spot rate market.
The InTek intermodal spot rate index decreased 2.3% over prior week.
For the week of March 11, 2019, domestic intermodal spot rate index:
- Down 2.3% from prior week.
- Down 22.7% from 90 days ago.
- Down 12.2% from prior year.
Lane Stats: 32.2% increased, 24.3% decreased and 43.5% went unchanged.
Similar to last week where a number of the intermodal spot market lanes InTek tracks experienced increases versus decreases, they are what we would consider more rounding errors in less impactful markets.
The decreases this week came from key intermodal markets: Chicago and SoCal. Chicago averaged a week-over-week decrease of almost 8%, while SoCal decreased slightly over 3%.
Intermodal volumes have continued to weaken. Volumes are down 0.9% on a calendar YTD year-over-year basis with trailers (TOFC) down 2.7% and containers (COFC) down 0.7%. In terms of domestic regions, USA is down 0.4%, Canada down 0.6% and Mexico is down 8.4%.
Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate
The national truckload spot rate, as reported by DAT, remained flat from the prior week. DAT reported the national truckload spot rate was $1.88 a mile. Truckload spot rates are down 11.3% from prior year.
The year-over-year percentage decrease flipped this week, with truckload's decrease 11.3% per mile and intermodal's decrease down 11.9% per mile. Keep in mind to use this metric as only a relative look, not an absolute. There is a difference in average miles for DAT truckload and InTek intermodal spot rate stats that can skew data one way or another, but even with some data differences the comparison is a good directional indicator.
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.079 per gallon this week, which is up $0.003 from the prior week.
The diesel price per gallon is up $0.103 or 3.5% higher from the same period last year.
WTI and Brent crude are up roughly $1.50 a barrel this week versus last, with WTI and Brent trading in the range $57.95 and $67.30 today, respectively.
Oil prices continue to be a big question mark for many logistics professionals in 2019.
The EIA's March 2019 diesel price average price projection for diesel is $3.01 per gallon for calendar year.
In the same report, EIA's average price per barrel oil projections for 2019 are:
- WTI $56.13
- Brent $62.78
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