For March 2018, the CASS Index, which is being used to monitor and evaluate U.S. Inland rates monthly, reflected an average of 133.5 for Truckload and 143.2 for Intermodal (rail). This is a slight increase (less than 1%) over the previously established baseline of 132.5 for Truckload and a more significant 3.84% increase over the previously established baseline of 137.9 for Intermodal (rail). As a result, tariff and contract Intermodal (rail) rates will increase by 3.84% effective June 1, 2018. The Truckload rates will not change since the March baseline increase was less than 2%. The CASS Indexes can be found here.
The U.S. truck market continues to be one of the most challenging and dynamic dimensions of the supply chain. Driver shortages and increased government regulations have contributed to the most unbalanced cargo-to-truck availability market in the past 13 years which has in turn, driven up inland pricing. The CASS Truckload index now is 133.5 in March 2018 which is 7.2% higher than March of 2017. The largest Year over Year percentage increase since January 2015.
Additionally, for the same period, the Department of Energy’s retail on-highway diesel prices all types index monthly average, which is being used to determine the Intermodal Fuel Charge, was $2.988. Therefore, the Intermodal Fuel Percentage will be decreased from 24% to 23%, effective June 1, 2018. The requirements and index history are available here.