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Ocean Contracts in the Digital Age

Register to the index report that explores the challenges with fixed-price ocean contracts and the potential shift towards index-linked contracts and freight derivatives for more reliable contracting options.

In recent years, ocean freight stakeholders have become more sophisticated in using data to negotiate better fixed-price ocean contracts. But surveys of BCOs and forwarders in 2021 and late 2023 show, once again, that when the spot market fluctuates, contracts often become unreliable – with the ongoing Red Sea crisis another recent example.

These examples, though, may drive increased interest in more reliable contracting options, like index-linked contracts that align incentives and keep containers moving or freight derivatives that help players contend with price fluctuations. 

This report explores:

  • Contract reliability data during the spot market surge in 2021 and fall in 2023
  • BCO shifts to carrier diversification and fewer long-term tenders in response
  • Increased importance of market intelligence
  • Index-linking and derivatives as alternative contracting strategies

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