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For a look at last month’s data dive on spot rates, click the link here.

As intermodal volumes continue to climb out of the trough they fell into this spring continuing into the early summer, spot rates continue to increase as well. From July to August, overall spot rates were up about 7%, with market breakdowns reflecting both increases and decreases in rates. This isn’t as high as the 14% aggregate jump between June and July, which may show that rates are leveling off.

Last month, LA saw a tremendous spike in spot rates, increasing 21% month over month. In August, spot rates were still up but this time a modest 7% as demand and equipment issues continue to keep rates up.

Chicago continues to be the most unpredictable when it comes to spot rates as they continue to fluctuate month-to-month. For July’s numbers, we reported a 6% decrease in spot rates after a couple months of steady growth. But then August comes around and the Chicago spot market changes course with rates shooting up 22% month over month.

What is the reason for this sudden change in course? Intermodal volumes have increased across the board, and JOC is reporting that as volumes rise, congestion issues and longer loading times are abound in Chicago. Just like what we saw last month in LA with the sharp increase in spot rates due to equipment issues, Chicago is seeing a similar pattern.

On a more predictable note, Atlanta continues to stay relatively consistent, with a 10% decrease in rates that keeps it in line with the beginning of the year after some shakiness between June and July.

The key takeaway here is that as the pandemic continues to play out, intermodal clearly will continue to see fluctuations in rates mostly as a response to the ups and downs that the uncertainty is bringing. And if you’re looking to break through all of the uncertainty, try the TRUprice tool on the DrayNow platform to get a competitive price based on real-time market behavior.

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