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US Intermodal Rate Indices Hit 2013 Low
The decline in intermodal rates also reflects the fact that truckload capacity is fairly balanced with demand right now, with few if any shippers reporting problems finding trucks. With economic growth slow, diesel prices declining and truck capacity readily available, truckload is more competitive with intermodal, which supresses intermodal rates.
If the economic pace picks up and new driver hours of service rules really take a bite out of truckload productivity in July, truck capacity would tighten, which would likely spur increases in truckload and intermodal pricing. That could make for a more expensive second half of the year for shippers and costlier fall shipping peak season.
— William B. Cassidy, senior editor