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

In last month’s report, we saw volatility that brought rates in some intermodal markets to their highest of highs, while others tumbled after months of an upward trajectory. The month of September was all about correcting this volatile spot rate trend.

As you can see in the graph below, average spot rates in the LA market dropped slightly by 2%, while Chicago saw an increase of 11%. Following last month’s sharp drop, Atlanta is back up, this time rising 22% month-over-month.

After hitting the record for highest average rate recorded across all markets, LA took a small dip by just 2%. Shown on the graph, the trend for most of the year in Los Angeles is that rates will shoot up in one month, followed by a slight decrease rates in the next, and then going back up in the following month. Since that trend began in March up until now, rates have risen a total of 60% overall. If this trend continues in October, spot rates will be up once again and possibly hit a new record.

In August, the rates in Atlanta plummeted 28% after steadily rising for almost 12 consecutive months. For the month of September, Atlanta rates were back up 22%, but still down 12% from the high seen in July. With all this volatility over the past two months, it’s totally up in the air as to where the Atlanta intermodal market will be trending in the future.

For the first time in a long time, the Chicago market has seen spot rates rise for two consecutive months, this time going up 11% over the prior month. From the graph above, it may look like the Chicago and Atlanta average rates have converged and are the same, but Chicago is marginally higher by only a few cents.

As Q3 ends, it’s important to note that average rates in Los Angeles and Chicago are higher than they were at the beginning of the quarter, with Atlanta being down 12%. What our key markets have in common is that the rates in September of this year are higher than the prior year. It will be interesting to see what Q4 intermodal spot rates will look like on the DrayNow platform.

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