Fixed-Price Ocean Contracts are Dying a Slow, Painful Death…

Ian Arroyo

In the ever-evolving and geo-politically sensitive landscape of global logistics, the latest insights compel us to reimagine the fabric of ocean freight contracting. Traditional fixed-price contracts, once the bedrock of stability, are yielding to the pressures of market dynamism, unable to keep up with the factors impacting the markets. The pivot towards index-linked contracts and Forward Freight Agreements (FFAs) is not merely a trend but a strategic recalibration towards agility and resilience.

This shift underscores a broader narrative: the imperative for digital fluency in our industry. The integration of real-time data and analytics into contract structures is not just innovative—it’s becoming essential. It’s a testament to how digitalization is not merely augmenting but reshaping our strategic frameworks.

As strategists, we must champion this transition, viewing it not as a disruption but as an evolution towards more nuanced and adaptable contracting mechanisms. The path forward demands a confluence of foresight, innovation, and strategic agility, ensuring that our industry remains robust in the face of uncertainty. And, it’s already happening. I’ve spoken with four Fortune 500 companies who have shifted or are in the process of shifting to index-linked contracts for their ocean freight, to the tune of many 100s of millions of dollars. 

In essence, the journey towards digitalized, data-driven freight contracting is both a challenge and an opportunity. It beckons us to lead with vision, ensuring our strategies are as dynamic as the markets we navigate. This is the new frontier of strategic thought leadership in logistics, where adaptability and insight forge the path to enduring success.

Freightos’ most recent, in-depth report on index linking (download HERE), by @Judah Levine, Head of Research, drives these points home. It’s time for change. 

Join the conversation during our webinar on Thursday or visit us at TPM. 

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Ian Arroyo

Chief Strategy Officer, Freightos Group

Ian is a passionate entrepreneur, strategy geek, and people builder. He’s proven go-to-market and growth leadership across industries.

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