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Freight Shipping Market

port containers in the freight shipping market that have a wide range of spot prices
freight shipping market

The current international freight shipping market is seeing a sizeable distribution of spot prices. When shipping containers, a spot price is a cost for moving freight shipments to a certain destination. Earlier this year there was a report that spot prices were high compared to last year, but they still are growing in the present moment. With spot rates growing for certain freight shippers, other shippers are finding a decrease in spot rates, and this can create an unbalanced spread.

The reason that the spread is so wide may be attributed to the current market. Situations such as port congestion and a scarcity of containers created a high demand in the market. The demand in trucking and warehousing has also risen compared to the capacity. Plus, with the holiday season quickly approaching, the demand may increase. This has led to a high push for shippers to get space on a freight vessel, rising the spot rates.

Why are Some of the larger Customers Getting the Leverage?

The trend in the spot rates may be more favorable for larger shippers than mom-and-pop shippers. The larger or more attractive shippers tend to pay fewer spot rates than smaller importers. This is because compared to a smaller shipper, larger freight shippers may offer more benefits for the carrier. Larger freight volumes from big shippers can be attractive to the carriers. Larger shippers may also provide the carrier with lengthy contracts and tend to have an already established relation to the carrier.

Xeneta, a shipping index and a benchmark for comparing ocean freight rates recently did an analysis of the market rates for the China-Los Angeles ports. They reported the short-term market rates had a high and low difference of around $1200 a few months ago. At the same time last year, the China-Los Angeles ports had a high and low difference of only $150. If this trend continues, there is a fear that smaller shippers may not be able to compete in the freight shipping market.

The Dependance on Location

One of the main contributors to the spot prices is where the freight leaves from and the final destination of the shipment. The trans-Pacific is the region in the Pacific Ocean where several countries cross over to do trade. Because of the vast number of countries doing trade in the trans-Pacific market, different countries may have their own market. This also can mean that they have their own spot prices.

For example, shipping from China may be cheaper than shipping from Japan. This is because China has some of the largest container ports in the world and may be able to move more freight in a certain time period. This high volume of freight that is able to be moved can lead to higher profits for carriers.

The destination of the freight being moved may also affect the spot price. The port of Los Angeles has experienced an immense amount of congestion in the past year. Even at the present moment, there are freight container vessels waiting to be unloaded. If a shopper plans on moving their freight through this port, short-term rates may be high due to waiting times. Now compare the situation to the Port of Hueneme a few miles away. With less congestion and traffic, the shipping rates per container may be less.

A1 Worldwide Logistics

Knowledge of the international freight shipping market is important when you plan on moving freight. Particularly in the current market, it is critical that you are getting a fair and understandable quote for your shipments. Contact us at 305-821-8995 or at to get a quote on your shipment. Our freight forwarders look for the best quote prices for moving your shipments domestically and globally.

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