For the third quarter 2015, the CASS Index, which is being used to monitor and evaluate U.S. Inland rates, reflected an average of 125.6 for Truckload and 126.6 for Intermodal (rail). Compared to the established baseline of 124.0 for Truckload and 129.7 for Intermodal (rail), the Truckload Index increased by 1.30% and the Intermodal (rail) decreased by 2.40%. Therefore, effective 11/19/2015, we will be reducing our tariff and contract Intermodal (rail) rates by 2.40%. The Truckload rates will not change since the third quarter average against the baseline was less than +/- 2%. The indexes can be found here: CASS Indexes.
For the fourth quarter review, the baseline index for Truckload will remain the same at 124.0 and the Intermodal (rail) will adjust to 126.6%. The next review period is set for January 2016. You can view the requirements and Index history here.
Additionally, in our continuing effort to keep you apprised of industry trends that affect our business together, we would like to inform you about a recent American Trucking Association (ATA) report, which predicts a shortage of 47,500 drivers by the end of this year. Moreover, ATA says that if the economy shows modest improvement in 2016, the shortfall could jump to 73,000 drivers by the end of next year. While we are closely monitoring this situation, you should be aware that these and other challenges within the trucking industry may soon begin to affect service and rates. We also ask for your continued cooperation in providing as much lead as possible when requesting Intermodal services,