The turmoil in the market is leading to a significant widening of the price spread. The question “what is the spot rate” for a given trade becomes difficult to answer as it depends on when the cargo is going to move, the level of “premium service” chosen, the shipper-carrier relationship as well as the amount of surcharges included Provided, of course, that you can even get any capacity.
It is causing the different spot rate indices to also diverge significantly from each other, adding to the confusion. It is therefore important to note that the different index providers measure different things. They do not include the same customer mix, they do not include the same mix of surcharges, they do not include the same definition or inclusions of spot versus short-term contract. This is also to say that just because the indices diverge, it does not mean that one is “correct” and the others are “wrong”. But the onus is on the shipper to understand which index most closely resemble their own business mix.
Just to illustrate the differences the following is assessments from August 6 in USD/FFE:
Additionally it appears that individual shipments have seen as much as 28.000 USD/FFE
Additionally it appears that individual shipments have exceeded 20.000 USD/FFE