A guide on using Container Index to avoid delays in shipments

A guide on using Container Index to avoid delays in shipments

Delays are quite frequent in the container shipping industry. Factors such as weather, route, port activity, documentation, etc., determine how fast or slow a cargo shipment can be shipped and delivered on time to its target location. Most of these factors are not in the trader’s control and one has very little to do over that. However, with the advancement in technology, a trader can eliminate most of these hindrances. One such way is using Container Index to avoid delays in shipments. Let us learn what Container Index is and how it can be used to ship cargoes on time.

What is Container Index?

Container Index, properly called Global Container Index, is a periodic assessment of the container freight rates, daily forward price estimates, and data of previous price movements. It reveals actual market prices prevailing in the container shipping industry. The data for the prices are sourced from a global panel of participants of the shipping industry. However, the main question is how knowing and using this Container Index can help in the promotion of faster shipping?

Using Container Index to Avoid Shipping Delay

A shopper who has to ship a large volume of cargo over a long period usually negotiates shipping rates from the ocean carrier. This helps him to save enough, which would not have been otherwise if he would have wished to pay for daily shipping. Booking a carrier quarterly, half-yearly or annually, allows the shipper to receive a volume discount. Therefore, if a big company is exporting its products throughout the year, it should go for booking carrier for a longer period. This will help it to save time and effort in negotiation, and finalise the shipment as quickly as possible.


On the other hand, a shipper can alternatively book freight on the spot basis. The freight rates on this spot basis depend on the market demand and supply of containers. If there is too much cargo to be shipped against the fixed availability of the number of containers, the freight rates will go high, and vice versa. The Container Index helps in knowing the daily freight rates so that a shipper/exporter can decide the day for the shipment of his cargo, the volume which he should choose to ship on a particular day, etc. All this information at his disposal will allow him to make efficient and quick decisions and plan his cargo shipment accordingly. Proper shipment planning based on Container Index maximises efficiency, reduces time and effort, and ultimately leads to timely shipment of the cargo.


A great part of shipment time also goes into negotiating prices with the ocean carrier. Using Container Index, a shipper can proceed with the finalisation of prices swiftly so that the carrier can start the shipment process exactly on the date on which the shipment has been planned.


Moreover, Container Index not only helps the shipper but the carrier and other parties involved in the shipment process as well. Precise price quotation facilitates the formalities involved and documentation to proceed efficiently and saves time. This ultimately helps the shipper only in avoiding shipment delays.


Container Index or Global Container Index is a very important parameter that plays a crucial role in the shipping industry. This helps a great deal to the shipper as well as all the parties involved in the shipment process. It allows them to settle costs in the least possible time, make quick decisions, and start the shipment without any delay. Apart from saving time, proper knowledge of using Container Index also allows the shipper to save cost and maximise the profits in the long run.


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