Price Trends: Water

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After dramatic price increases last month, prices for moving cargo on inland waterways and on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway gave back a bit, down 0.8% and 1.8%, respectively, in February. Now, however, other water transport markets are getting into the price-hike act, with deep sea freight prices up 4.8%, and coastal/intercoastal freight tags up 2.8%. For the aggregate water transportation industry, prices overall increased 2.4% as industry costs grew only 0.5% thanks to a 1.2% one-month drop in spending on fuel. Nonetheless, January and February data shifted the forecast take-off point, so our industry-wide price forecast has been revised upward to a 4% annual inflation rate in 2010. Next year, prices are expected to remain on a 3.1% inflation track.

% Change vs. 1 month ago 6 mos. ago 1 yr. ago
Deep-sea freight 4.8 6.4 1.8
Coastal & intercoastal freight 2.8 3.6 11.0
Grt. Lks.-St. Lawrence Seaway -1.8 8.9 5.5
Inland water freight -0.8 4.0 -7.6

Source: Elizabeth Baatz, Thinking Cap Solutions. E-mail: [email protected]

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