Low fuel prices and tight truck capacity are expected to change the balance between over-the-road trucking fright and intermodal freight this year according to Cass Information Systems and Avondale Partners.
Truckload rates are expected to rise 4 to 9 percent in 2015 according to the Cass Information Systems and Avondale Partners while intermodal freight is expected to drop. In December the Cass Truckload Index rose 7.4 percent while the Cass Intermodal Pricing Index rose just 1.5 percent. They predict that some intermodal freight will be transferred to OTR trucking despite rising truckload rates.
Though the truckload rate is expected to rise not everyone is confident that the volume of trucking freight will surpass that of intermodal rail due to the current truck driver shortage.
CSX Chief Commercial Officer Clarence Gooden stated “The big issue that has been in trucking remains the big issue in trucking and that is driver availability”.
In addition Canadian Pacific Railway President Keith Creel claims that intermodal rail is still cheaper than OTR trucking despite dropping fuel surcharges and that if fuel prices swing upwards this year lower intermodal shipping prices will decrease and those companies will acquire more business.