Recent information from partners Cass Information Systems Inc. and Avondale Partners LLC indicates that truckload rates are holding steady, while intermodal rates saw a month-to-month gain.

The rate information is provided by the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index and the Intermodal Linehaul Index. Both indices extrapolate their information from the $20 billion in freight invoices annually that Cass Information Systems manages and pays on behalf of its clients.

The indices are "a measure of market fluctuations in per-mile truckload pricing," and are based on January 2005 pricing.

According to the Cass website, the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index isolates the linehaul component of full truckload costs from other components (e.g. fuel and accessorials), for a more accurate reflection of trends in baseline truckload prices.

The August Truckload Linehaul Index shows truckload rates remained steady from July to August. It also indicates that truckload rates are up 1% over last year.

"Capacity remains constrained due to a host of factors, including CSA 2010, hours of service, EOBRs, tight financing, higher equipment costs, strategic acquisitions, etc.," stated the report.

The report goes on to note that the slow rate of growth over the past couple of months can "partially attributed to a shift toward intermodal, which again saw continued solid demand in August," according to the website.

In fact, according to the Cass Intermodal Linehaul Index, rates from July to August increased.

"Intermodal linehaul rates increased 1.3% from July to August, and were at the same level as last August."

Previous to August, intermodal linehaul rates had experienced a three-month period of decline. The recent swing to increasing rates may be related to diesel being more than $4 per gallon.