Intermodal Spot Rates Hit Another High Blog Feature
Rick LaGore

By: Rick LaGore on August 8th, 2018

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Intermodal Spot Rates Hit Another High

Intermodal | diesel fuel price | truckload | intermodal spot rates

The intermodal spot rate index increased 6.9% over prior week.  Of the 115 lanes tracked in the weighted average index, 15.8% increased, 51.7% decreased and 32.5% went unchanged.  The increases came primarily from SoCal, NorCal and Seattle lanes.  

intermodal train pictrucks

For the week of July 30, 2018, domestic intermodal spot rates were:

  • Up 6.9% from prior week.
  • Up 7.5% from 90 days ago.
  • Up 46.9% from prior year.

The jump in the week-over-week rates is a result of constrained market surcharges added to already record high spot rates in key markets, but look out for further increases or changes in O/D pairs, as railroads continue to re-align their businesses.  The latest change came yesterday when the UP announced it would cease the interline service on the 197 origin-destination pairs they share with CSX beginning September 17.  

The national dry van spot rate, reported by DAT, was $2.24 a mile this week.  This is a 2.6% decrease from the prior week and 29% higher over prior year. 

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 over the course of August.  

Diesel Fuel Comments: 

Moving onto the fuel side of the intermodal pricing equation, the EIA reported average diesel fuel price of $3.223 per gallon this week, which is a $0.003 decrease.

The diesel price per gallon is up $0.642 or 24.9% higher from the same period last year.    

Oil prices are declining this week, with WTI and Brent trading today in the range of $66.70 and $72.00, respectively.  During the most recent earnings calls oil production and infrastructure companies have been reporting a ramp up in capital spending to meet demand, but politicals is starting to cloud future demand, hence a big decline today in oil prices.  

The EIA for diesel and oil prices current projection is diesel will average $3.14 a gallon for calendar year 2018.

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-4

 Baseline Analysis - Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel-4

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Comparison-4 Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Yr-over-Yr Percentage-4

Intermodal Spot Rate and Diesel Fuel Qtr-over-Qtr Comparison-4

For more on 53' domestic intermodaltruckload and managed transportation services, please sign-up for our weekly blogs and visit the InTek Freight and Logistics website.

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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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