Fleet Management

Cass Truckload Linehaul Index Rises, Intermodal Retreats

July 18, 2014

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Truckload linehaul rates paid by North American shippers in June were 5.2% higher than in June of last year, according to the latest Cass Truckload Line Index released Friday.

As demand continues to increase while capacity exits the marketplace, this year’s procurement events and contract negotiations have not, in general, been ending favorably for shippers, according to the investment firm Avondale Partners, which provides analysis of the index

“For the remainder of this year, expect stronger industrial production, increased consumer spending, and the continued recovery in housing to continue to squeeze capacity,” said Avondale.

Meantime, the Cass Intermodal Price Index, also released Friday, fell in June for the second consecutive month.

Although intermodal costs seem to have peaked for this year and have been falling over the last couple of months, they remain considerably high compared to the last several years, according to Avondale.

“On average for 2014, intermodal costs have been up 2.1% year-over-year, with the difference greater in the last three months, partially due to rising diesel costs,” said Avondale. “For the most part though, it’s supply and demand. The Association of American Railroads has reported that U.S. intermodal volumes are up significantly over last year; 9% in April, 8% in May, and 7% in June.”

The Cass Intermodal Price Index is indicator of market fluctuations in per-mile U.S. domestic intermodal costs, that includes all costs associated with the move such as linehaul, fuel and accessorials.

The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index is an indicator of market fluctuations in per-mile truckload pricing that isolates the linehaul component of full truckload costs from other components, such as fuel and accessorials.

Data within both are derived from actual freight invoices paid on behalf of Cass’ clients, which totaled over $23 billion in 2013.

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