FreightWaves SONAR: LA Freight Market Is Heating Up

Written by Mike Baudendistel, FreightWaves Market Expert
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As the freight economy recovers, several important trends are centered around Los Angeles: import volume, outbound freight volume, and intermodal’s degree of competitiveness with truckload. In short, LA is hot with an improving freight market boosting both truckload and intermodal as shown in the FreightWaves SONAR charts below.

LA import shipment spiked in June—unlike overall U.S. import shipments.

FreightWaves SONAR: Blue line shows the seven-day moving average of imports (both containerized and noncontainerized) coming into the LA metro area (including Long Beach). The green line, shown on the left axis, shows overall U.S. maritime import volume, both containerized and noncontainerized. 

Growth in outbound LA intermodal volume the past two months has been concentrated in domestic intermodal loads.

FreightWaves SONAR: The blue line shows a seven-day moving average of domestic loaded rail intermodal containers outbound from LA. The orange line shows a seven-day moving average of international rail intermodal loads outbound from LA. 

Truckload volume has also gotten in on the action. Outbound truckload volume from LA has outperformed the U.S. market since mid-May.

FreightWaves SONAR: The blue line is a daily index of electronically tendered truck volumes outbound from the Los Angeles metro area, presented as a seven-day moving average. The green line is a daily index, also presented as a seven-day moving average, of electronically tendered truck volume for the U.S. truckload market as a whole. 

The pickup in outbound LA truckload volume has been concentrated in long lengths of haul (>800 miles). That suggests a significant portion of the freight growth is competitive with domestic intermodal.

FreightWaves SONAR: The above lines are indexes of electronically tendered truck volume outbound from the Los Angeles metro area. The blue line is the index for only lengths of haul that exceed 800 miles (the index most competitive with intermodal) while the purple, orange, pink and yellow represent lengths of haul of 100-250, <100, 251-450, and 451-800 miles, respectively

Outbound LA rates have risen for both truckload and intermodal. In the LA to Dallas lane, the rising spread has made intermodal more attractive to shippers. Intermodal had been unusually competitive at times during the past year.

FreightWaves SONAR: Blue line shows intermodal spot rates from LA to Dallas and green line shows dry van truckload rates for the past week, inclusive of fuel surcharges.

Accordingly, while long-haul truck volume has outperformed domestic intermodal over the past year … 

FreightWaves SONAR: Blue line represents a seven-day moving average of loaded domestic rail intermodal volume outbound from metro Los Angeles while the purple line is a long-haul (>800 miles) index of truckload freight moving outbound from Los Angeles. 

… intermodal and truckload volume has performed similarly over the past 30 days as the LA truck market has become tighter.

FreightWaves SONAR: Blue line represents a seven-day moving average of loaded domestic rail intermodal volume outbound from metro Los Angeles while the purple line is a long-haul (>800 miles) index of truckload freight moving outbound from Los Angeles.

FreightWaves SONAR offers the most essential rail and intermodal data available, with daily updates on rail and intermodal pricing and volumes. Additionally, compare rail market trends against other modes of transportation to gain a comprehensive view of logistics markets. Users can react faster than ever to changing market conditions, giving them an advantage never before seen in freight. To learn more and schedule your personal free trialclick here.

Categories: Analytics, Class I, Freight, Freight Forecasting, Intermodal, News, Short Lines & Regionals, Switching & Terminal Tags: , , ,