Intermodal Spot Rates January 2024: A look by market
The content below is for intermodal freight brokers interested in utilizing the DrayNow spot market. For brokers interested in securing intermodal drayage service for their recurring lanes, please feel free to reach out to us via contact form.
For a look at last month’s data on intermodal spot rates, click the link here.
Intermodal spot rates started the year with a major jump in rates for Chicago, while dropping in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Chicago spot rates were up 28%, while dropping 3% in Atlanta and 2% in Los Angeles. What’s very interesting to see is how similar rates are in January of this year compared to the same time period last year, which we will dive into through the analysis below.
Spot rates in the Chicago market were up significantly month-over-month, climbing 28%. This jump brought rates to more normal levels, as November and December saw some year lows in average rates. Compared to last January, the cost to move intermodal spot freight in Chicago is almost exactly the same.
The Atlanta market saw a 3% decrease in average spot rates. The average rate per mile in this market is back to being lower than the average in Chicago, but not by much. In comparison to the same time last year, Atlanta intermodal spot rates are 5% lower in 2024.
In the Los Angeles market, the cost to move intermodal freight has dropped for the fourth month in a row, this time going down 2% month-over-month. From September to January, spot rates have decreased 18% overall in Los Angeles. However, spot rates were higher in January than they were in January 2023, up 5% year-over-year.
What’s in store for intermodal spot rates in 2024? So far intermodal spot rates in the key markets of Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles are trending so close to what we saw at the same time last year.
A factor that could push spot rate trends this year is trucking capacity. There is a lot of uncertainty as to if and when intermodal volumes will increase in 2024. When volumes rise in the industry, along comes tighter trucking capacity leading to increased spot rates. If volumes stay in a similar area, there most likely won’t be too much change compared to 2023.
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