How Spot Rates Work

Spot rates are a major component of the how the ocean freight shipping industry gets things do. Typically, a shipper will reach out a logistics website and try to get an instant container shipping quote. The prices that shippers receive have numerous variables and types.
Spot rates differ from the contract rates because the contracts feature future dates for transportation and payment. With a spot rate, a shipper is usually looking in the short-term and pays for the transportation services “on the spot” so to speak. There are numerous factors that determine the price of the spot rates in the shipping market. Some of those factors include the time of the year, the types of ocean containers and which ports (and routes) the cargo will be traveling. In addition to the containers, there are spot rates available for bulk shipping and even liquid products.
There are groups out there like SCFI (Shanghai Containerized Freight Index) that monitor the changing spot rates, including any surcharges. Usually when there is volatility in the market, shippers see spot rates as a viable option. However, you will need an expert to help you. Seek a logistics partner who has great experience and understanding of how spot rate works. If everything is good, you might find a spot rate for shipping at a competitive market price. The long-term benefits of shipping this way can be amazing.