Intermodal Spread – China North American East-West Spread


IMSPRD.PANA measures the difference between the all-in rates to ship goods from China to the Midwest through West Coast ports and East Coast ports. Specifically, we combine daily maritime container spot rates and weekly intermodal spot rates to compare the costs of moving freight from China to Chicago on different lanes.

IMSPRD.PANA is calculated by adding FBXD.CNAE and INTRM.SAVCHI (multiplied by the mileage to derive the actual intermodal cost) and then subtracting the sum of FBXD.CNAW and INTRM.LAXCHI (again, multiplied by the mileage to derive the actual intermodal cost). 

The index is measured in dollars: a positive reading tells SONAR users how much more expensive routing Asian freight through the East Coast in dollars per container; a negative reading indicates that East Coast lanes are at a discount to West Coast lanes.


Beneficial cargo owners, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, railroads, intermodal marketing companies, and port authorities who are trying to decide how to import Asian goods into the center of the United States or who are competing for import business.


IMSPRD.PANA tells SONAR users the cost difference between importing Asian goods via ocean container and intermodal rail to Chicago via West Coast ports like Los Angeles versus using East Coast ports like Savannah. The index helps shippers and freight forwarders make decisions about the most cost-effective way to move freight. The index also helps intermodal marketing companies, railroads, and port authorities understand the freight marketplace and compete to win freight.

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Related Topics

Intermodal contract savings versus truckload (IMCSI)

Inbound Rail Market Share (IRAILMS)

Outbound Rail Market Share (ORAILMS)

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