Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis - May 14 2019
Weekly discussion and analysis on the trends in the intermodal spot rate market.
The InTek intermodal spot rate index decreased 1.2% over prior week.
For the week of May 14, 2019, domestic intermodal spot rate index:
- Down 1.2% from prior week.
- Down 10.9% from 90 days ago.
- Down 22.5% from prior year.
Lane Stats: 46.1% increased, 37.4% decreased and 16.5% went unchanged.
As predicted last week, the intermodal spot rate index continued its downward trend supporting the fact volumes remain weak.
In taking a deeper dive in the mileage and index rate details, it would appear the intermodal spot pricing has a very real possibility to tick down another 10% over the next 30 days to put us back to 2017 Summer spot rate pricing. This is the time when the big upswing in freight pricing began almost 2-years ago.
We are expecting a short reprieve in the decrease with the seasonal Memorial week bump, but continue the trend down after the bump.
Intermodal volume is down 1.2% from prior YTD.
Breaking the volume down by equipment, TOFC is down 8.1% and COFC is down 0.6%.
By region, volume is down 1.7% in the US, up 1.8% in Canada and down 4.9% in Mexico.
Comparison of Truckload to Intermodal Spot Rate
The national truckload spot rate increased 0.8% last week, as reported by the DAT Trendline Report.
Year-over-year truckload national average truckload spot rate per mile is down 16.0%, while domestic intermodal is down 19.9% per mile making the spread in these two metrics increase.
While there are some inherent differences in the DAT truckload and InTek intermodal index, this is a relative indicator we like to watch to help gauge the market's appetite for modal conversion opportunities.
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.160 per gallon this week, which is down $0.011 or 0.3% from the prior week.
The diesel price per gallon is down $0.079 or 2.4% from the same period last year.
WTI crude oil pricing held steady this week, while Brent crude jumped roughly $2 barrel, with WTI and Brent closing at $61.28 and $71.24, respectively.
"Terrorism" reports by the Saudi energy minister against pipeline infrastructure is causing concern with production disruptions out of OPEC countries, while at the same time downward pressure on oil prices is coming from the USA - China trade dispute and it's potential impact on the global economy.
With all that said, the current prediction still has many analysts believing oil prices will continue to rise over 2019, although this may change as various countries cut their economic growth forecasts for the year.
The EIA's May 2019 diesel price average price projection for diesel is $3.18 per gallon for calendar year.
In the same report, EIA's average price per barrel oil projections for 2019 were increased to the following:
- WTI $62.79
- Brent $69.64
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