The World Container Index went live today, with the first Europe-based assessment of ocean freight rates showing increases on some major liner trade routes.
The spot container freight rate index on the Shanghai-Genoa routes was $2,270 per 40-foot container equivalent unit, up 8 percent from the assessment made in the first week of August.
The rate on the Shanghai- New York route was 11 percent higher over the same period at $3,477 per FEU.
The WCI rate indices for the backhaul routes from Europe and the U.S. to China remained stable over the past month.
“We expect trading of container derivatives against the WCI index to start this month,” said Philip Damas, an executive at London’s Drewry Shipping Consultants, the joint owner of the WCI with Cleartrade Exchange.
“Shippers who have contacted WCI will gain access to the latest weekly indices and the historical prices for the purpose of benchmarking and index-linked contract formation from this week.”
The WCI reports agree on spot container freight rates for major East/West routes and consists of 11 route-specific indices representing individual shipping routes and a composite route.
The WCI claims to provide risk management and hedging opportunities for all freight users from shippers of commoditized or recovered goods to those moving high value finished products.
The index is being launched amid widespread skepticism over freight futures among ocean carriers. Maersk Line, the world’s largest container carrier, said they do not accurately reflect freight rates and create uncertainty in the market.
At present most freight rate derivatives are settled against the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index compiled by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange.
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