Fleet Management

Truckload Linehaul Rates Increase Nearly 8%, Intermodal Declines Slightly

February 25, 2015

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Linehaul rates in the truckload sector posted a significant gain last month, according to newly released figures, while a separate report shows a drop in intermodal rates for the first time in more than a year.

The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index rose 7.9% year-over-year in January, a sign that demand for truckload services is improving with capacity remaining extraordinarily tight.

“We see TL pricing increasing between 4% and 9% in 2015, depending on how much rate increase each carrier was successful in obtaining in 2014 and when those rate increases were achieved,” said the investment firm Avondale Partners, which provides analysis of the index.

The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index is indicator of market changes in per-mile truckload pricing that isolates the linehaul component of full truckload costs from other components, such as fuel and accessorials, providing a reflection of trends in baseline truckload prices.

Meantime, the Cass Intermodal Index shows that costs of intermodal shipping fell 0.3% year-over-year in January, the first decline since December 2013.

According to the report, intermodal rates are expected to decline in 2015 as the dramatic drop in diesel prices, which has translated into more than a 15 cents per mile decline in fuel surcharges, an and even more dramatic drop in oil, will challenge demand and pricing power for intermodal.

The report noted the extent to which modes are shifted to truckload will be dependent on capacity availability.

The Cass Intermodal Price Index is an 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.

Data within both indexes is derived from actual freight invoices paid on behalf of Cass Information Systems’ clients, which totaled over $23 billion in 2013, according to the company.

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