Chart of the Month: ‘FIFI’ improves sea freight rate transparency

Freightos’ latest tool marks the next step in free and fast rate benchmarking. 

In February, online freight marketplace Freightos, as part of its mission to make freight pricing data more transparent, released FIFI – the Freightos International Freight Index.

In a nutshell, FIFI freely provides weekly data since the beginning of 2016 on sea freight rates for 40 ft containers for some major trade lanes: China to US, China to Europe and Transatlantic. Freightos asserts that more trade lanes and air freight indices will be added in future.

China to US sea freight rates














Source: Ti Dashboard, using Freightos data

Of the many shippers out there which have long been seeking to quickly benchmark freight rates and rate dynamics, FIFI marks the next step up in their pursuit of knowing what they should be paying.

Freight booking platforms like Freightos are by no means the finished article yet, as this investigation by The Loadstar reveals. That said, it does appear that their capabilities, such as dealing with shipment exceptions like customs issues, specialist handling and extreme weather are improving. The common assumption is that as they get more data, the more accurate these platforms become and the more extensive their capabilities. But as for benchmarking prices on certain routes with specifically defined parameters, this now appears to be well within their remit.

A chart for each of the aforementioned trade lanes can now be found in the Ti Dashboard, which features over 100 logistics-industry relevant charts that are updated on a weekly basis. In a nutshell, the Dashboard serves as a one-stop source of the data and charts that Ti thinks are most important in terms of monitoring and understanding the state of the logistics industry, past and present.

The latest charts added thanks to Freightos’ disclosure are the next step towards gradually demisting the increasingly less murky world of freight rate pricing.

As Freightos’ CEO stated in a blog written on March 5: “Two years ago you didn’t hear talk of digitization from ocean liners. Today, it’s suddenly the norm.”

“While the future of freight is transparent, freight in the present has already gone online. And we’re better for it.”

Source: Transport Intelligence, March 9, 2017

Author: David Buckby