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

Average spot rates in key markets on the DrayNow platform continued the same trends seen last month at a more muted pace. Chicago rates rose 13% month-over-month, LA saw a 10% increase while Atlanta slipped another 4%.

In March, Chicago hit yet another record high with the 13% increase in average spot rates. This new record can be attributed to higher diesel costs for carriers as well as a surplus of shorter hauls in the market. Compared to last year, Chicago spot rates are up 49%.

With the 10% jump in spot rates in March, Los Angeles is seeing the highest market specific average rate ever recorded on the platform. This should not come as much of a surprise considering that California is consistently seeing diesel fuel prices above $6 per gallon. Compared to March 2021, spot rates in LA are up 70%.

As Chicago and LA averages continue to rise, Atlanta rates continue to fall, but to a lesser extent at a 4% drop. A reason for this drop is that the average mileage per intermodal trip in Atlanta increased 9%. Looking at last year’s data, average rates in the Atlanta market for are up 18% this March.

The spot rate data that we are compiling increasingly shows a change in the make-up of each market. Average spot rates in Chicago are going up as shorter runs are dominating the market and the same trend is happening in Los Angeles. On the other side, Atlanta intermodal loads are seeing a decrease in the average rate per mile as the average distance per trip increases in that market.

Taking a deeper dive into the differences between each market, the average distance per trip is a lot higher in Atlanta than Chicago and Los Angeles. The average distance per trip is 250% higher in Atlanta compared to Chicago loads and 173% higher than Los Angeles trips.

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