Intermodal Spot Rates Continue their Climb
The intermodal spot rate index increased 3.4% over prior week. Of the 115 lanes tracked in the weighted average index, 64.8% increased, 14.1% decreased and 21.1% went unchanged. The increase was primarily driven from significant increases coming from outbound NorCal and Atlanta lanes. SoCal outbound lanes dropped an average of 10.0%
For the week of August 20, 2018, domestic intermodal spot rates were:
- Up 3.4% from prior week.
- Up 16.3% from 90 days ago.
- Up 49.0% from prior year.
Year-over-year North American intermodal volumes are up 5.3% in total, with COFC up 4.5% and TOFC up 15.9%. TOFC strength speaks to the following:
- The underlying strength in the market cannot be fulfilled by containers alone.
- Trucking companies are shifting freight they can on rail to help take some pressure off their driver pool.
- An indicator the new trailer market continues to run strong in 2018, as many trailer manufacturers put their new trailers on the railroads to deliver them into the market their customers require.
While the DAT continues to report declining spot rates, keep in mind truckload rates remain at all-time highs and this is a seasonal trend that will turn as we head into September..
Diesel Fuel Comments:
The EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.226 per gallon this week, which is a $0.019 decrease.
The diesel price per gallon is up $0.621 or 23.8% higher from the same period last year.
Oil prices are up roughly $2.00 from last week, with WTI and Brent trading today in the range of $69.60 and $77.20, respectively. The stories driving the increase over the prior week include: the strong dollar, Iranian sanctions, Venezuelan currency crisis, China trade conflict, along with other supply& demand dynamics.
The EIA for diesel and oil prices current projection is diesel will average $3.15 a gallon for calendar year 2018.
The full spreadsheet of the historical weekly price moves of diesel full can be found at https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/.
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
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