Skip to main navigation Skip to content

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

The strong holiday season for intermodal carried on in December with key markets hitting highs in spot rates, pointing to strong volumes paired with tight capacity. With the year-end stats in, we’ve seen an overall increase in average rate per mile across the year in Los Angeles and Atlanta. And there was only a slight decrease in Chicago from the beginning of the year to December.

The Los Angeles market stayed persistent in its rapid ascent to new highs, increasing 15% month-over-month. Compared to January of 2020, spot rates in December are up 59%, and a whopping 98% from the low point in April.

Atlanta also hit a record average monthly rate per mile in December, after remaining relatively steady from the late summer through the end of the year. Averages in December were up 18% from January and 38% from their lowest number seen in June.

The most surprising spot rate behavior of this month were the continued decline of Chicago average spot rates, which hit a high in September. From that point, averages were trending downward anywhere from 2-4% before a sharper 11% drop in December. This month’s average was 11% lower than how we started the year, but still 22% higher than April’s low.

Coming into this new year, it’s worth checking out our recent analysis of spot freight behavior on the DrayNow marketplace to make pricing decisions. This data shows that lead time affects the price of loads that are taken from the platform and completed. We have also recently launched the DrayNow Intermodal Drayage Cost Indexes, which give insight into market variations in drayage costs as well as the availability of capacity.

As capacity becomes more readily available post peak season, average rates will most likely decrease across all markets. Understanding freight behavior on the DrayNow platform using the tools above along with our monthly analysis will allow you to make better pricing decisions moving forward.

Sign Up

Shipping Freight? Get our new E-book.

Download our free e-book "Is there a future for Intermodal Marketing Companies?" and get DrayNow updates delivered straight to your inbox.