Marks & Spencer Signs Contract with Drewry

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Marks & Spencer joined other multinationals from North America, Asia and Europe which have found in Drewry’s 150 sets of port region-to-port region container freight rates a valuable source of pricing benchmarks to help their transport procurement decisions.

Due to the launch of the global container freight rate benchmarks and associated regional and global freight rate indices, Drewry is making the unique, industry-first freight rate data available on-line to subscribers at www.containerbenchmarks.com. This interactive on-line database provides current and historical market-based container freight rate benchmarks for multiple trade routes and port pairs. The rate benchmarks are based on averages of rates paid by shippers to freight forwarders. The container freight rate benchmarks and indices were launched at the European Shippers’ Council annual Shippers’ Forum in November 20 in Amsterdam.

The port regions currently covered in the benchmark data are South China (excluding Hong Kong), Hong Kong, South East Asia (Singapore), the Indian Sub-continent (Mumbai), Middle East Gulf (Dubai), Saudi Arabia, the UK, North Continental Europe, the Western Mediterranean (Italy), the US East Coast, the US Gulf Coast, the US West Coast and Brazil. In March, Drewry will add intra-Europe freight rates and Asia/South America container freight rates to the previous scope of data. It is hoped that the development of container freight rates will be as easy to track as changes in the container shipping charter market, which already has industry indices. Some of Drewry’s container freight rate indices will be publicised through leading industry media. The Drewry Hong Kong-Los Angeles eastbound container freight rate benchmark for full container loads, a key indicator of prices in the global container shipping business, is now publicised once a week, giving the industry an near-immediate pricing barometer which had been lacking. Drewry started gathering and monitoring container freight rates in November 2005 and has invested substantial research time in this new area. Customers for this service include shippers, forwarders and container shipping lines.

For shippers, the on-line database and the Drewry Container Freight Rate Insight reports provide rates that are actually being paid by other companies on the same route. While Drewry cannot disclose specific company information for confidentiality reasons, the rate information obtained provides an insight into how well companies are doing when it comes to the negotiation of freight rates. For carriers, the average Drewry container freight rate benchmarks enables them to benchmark their average rates on specific port pairs against the latest forwarder market freight rates, which cover business with multiple carriers and are indicative of average market rates. The benchmarks also provide market intelligence for studies on new routes or ports.

For financial and market analysts, the Drewry container freight rate benchmarks and the Drewry freight rate indices finally remove the secrecy and lack of transparency which has surrounded container freight rates until now. The benchmarks and indices track changes.

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