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

In the month of February, average intermodal spot rates in the Los Angeles and Chicago markets skyrocketed, almost completely converging. And as spot rates rose in those markets, they continued to decrease in Atlanta.

Though not as dramatic as last month, Atlanta rates saw a 6% decrease. Much of these continued decreases can be attributed to longer distance freight making up more of the market. In fact, compared to July 2021 when rates hit a high point, the average mileage per trip today is up over 19%. Spot rates in Atlanta are still higher than they were in February of last year, with a 43% increase.

Spot rates in the Los Angeles market rose back up just as much as they fall in January, coming up 25% month-over-month. As the Atlanta market was dominated by longer runs, LA saw less mileage per trip, as reflected in the rate hike. Compared to last year, Los Angeles spot rates are up 32%.

The most substantial change to spot rates in our key markets comes from Chicago, where rates are up 26%, smashing the previous record high in December. Average rates went so high in February, that the Chicago market almost overtook LA and became the key market with the highest rates. Compared to the same time in 2021, spot rates in the Chicago market are up 69%.

Diesel prices have been creeping up and influencing spot rates, including February. Just as the month ended and March began, week-over-week diesel prices saw their largest increase ever, going up around $.75 per gallon. As the events in today’s world keep unraveling, fuel prices will probably keep going up. And this will most likely translate to an increase in spot rates for the month of March.

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