Intermodal Spot Rates January 2021: A look by market #DrayNowData
For a look at last month’s data dive on spot rates, click the link here.
The new year started with both volatile and stable spot rate trends seen in our Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta markets.
Most of the volatility came out of Los Angeles, where rates decreased 16% after increasing significantly just one month prior in December. This brought the average rate back to levels seen in the fall. What’s clear is that Los Angeles was the market most impacted by the holiday rush as rates shot up due to volume and capacity. Even though rates decreased in LA, the average for January 2021 is up 33% from January 2020.
Last month, Chicago finally saw a month-to-month increase after a long period of steady decline. Average spot rates are down 6% from this time last year, pointing to a slower start compared to 2020. This is still much higher than some of the lows seen in the height of pandemic shutdowns, so recovery appears to be moving forward.
The Atlanta market continues its upward trend in average spot rates, once again rising and hitting a new high over the past 13 months. Even though Atlanta rates have appeared as the most stable over the past year, they are actually up 20% from January 2020, showing strong volumes.
As you can see in the above graph, 2020 started out relatively stable before the pandemic took hold and brought rates all over the place for an extended time. In 2019, DrayNow average spot rates followed the standard seasonal trends of starting off high, dipping through the spring and summer before coming back up for peak season.
Looking towards the rest of this new year, it’s going to be interesting to see which trajectory average rates take. Is it going to be another year of volatility like 2020, or is the industry going to end up following trends similar to 2019?
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