Methodology

The World Container Index assessed by Drewry reports actual spot container freight rates for major East West trade routes. The Index consists of 11 route-specific indices representing individual shipping routes and a composite index. All indices are reported in USD per Forty Foot Container.

Individual Shipping Routes

Market assessments will be collected for the following routes:

World Container Index Shanghai to Rotterdam World Container Index Shanghai to Los Angeles World Container Index Rotterdam to Los Angeles
World Container Index Rotterdam to Shanghai World Container Index Los Angeles to Shanghai World Container Index New York to Rotterdam
World Container Index Shanghai to Genoa World Container Index Shanghai to New York World Container Index Rotterdam to New York
World Container Index Genoa to Shanghai World Container Index Los Angeles to Rotterdam    

Composite Index

The World Container Index is a composite of the 11 route indices weighted for volume on each of the routes representative trade.

Volume is expressed in Million TEU’s. Source: Drewry Routes database and Drewry Container Forecaster, March 2011

Route Representative Trade Vol 2010 Weight
Shanghai - Rotterdam Far East to North Europe 8.740 0.235
Rotterdam - Shanghai North Europe to Far East 3.980 0.107
Shanghai - Genoa Far East to Mediterranean 4.850 0.130
Genoa - Shanghai Mediterranean to Far East 1.630 0.044
Shanghai - Los Angeles Far East to US West Coast 8.440 0.227
Los Angeles - Shanghai US West Coast to Far East 4.100 0.110
Shanghai - New York Far East to US East Coast 3.100 0.083
Los Angeles - Rotterdam US West Coast to North Europe 0.120 0.003
Rotterdam - Los Angeles North Europe to US West Coast 0.170 0.005
New York - Rotterdam US East Coast to North Europe 0.920 0.025
Rotterdam - New York North Europe to US East Coast 1.130 0.030

Panellists

Data for the index is collected from transport intermediaries (Freight Forwarders / NVOCC’s) based in Europe, North America and Asia. These organisations report the freight rates on which they are moving cargo with a number of major shipping lines. The exact identities of the panellists are confidential however a generic description of them and the regions where they are based can be found below:

Panellist Description Approx. Annual Volume Number
Global Freight Forwarder > 1 MTEU 2
Global Freight Forwarder 500 KTEU – 1 MTEU 1
Regional Freight Forwarder 250 KTEU – 500 KTEU 1
Regional Freight Forwarder 25 KTEU – 250 KTEU 2
Local Freight Forwarder < 25 KTEU 7
Total WCI Panellists   13

Panellist by Region Number
Global 3
North America 5
Europe 2
Asia 3

Market Assessments


World Container Index Market assessments are reports of the value of agreed freight rates between major container lines and shippers or freight forwarders
World Container Index Only freight rates that are agreed between participants and on which cargo is, or is expected to move will form the assessments. Rates from quotes, tariffs, estimates, bids or offers are not included
World Container Index The rates making up a market assessment will have a validity of not less than 7 calendar days and not more than 1 calendar month from the date the assessment is reported
World Container Index Agreed freight rates are to be reported per Forty Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU), equivalent to a 40ft-long 8ft6in-high ISO maritime container’s Full Container Load
World Container Index Agreed freight rates are to be reported for cargo shipped under the category of Freight All Kinds (FAK). FAK for the uses of the World Container Index assessed by Drewry is defined as: Various kinds of goods that are commonly pooled and shipped together at one freight rate, including consolidated cargo. This pertains to any type of cargo that would usually be classified as FAK by the container shipping lines in question under their standard pricing terms but specifically does not include wastepaper or scrap metal.
World Container Index Agreed freight rates are to be collected for cargo that is shipped in standard containers only and does not include transactions for cargo shipped in Open Top, Flat Rack, or any other kind of specialised container. Transactions for cargo shipped in Non-Operating Refrigerated Containers (NOR’s) are also not included.
World Container Index Agreed freight rates are to be collected for dry cargo shipments only and are not to include prices agreed for shipments of refrigerated cargo.
World Container Index The value of agreed freight rates is defined as the total ocean freight including bunker adjustment factor and all other applicable surcharges, plus terminal handling charges when it is common market practice to include them, but excluding any surcharges related to inland transportation

Minimum Data Requirements

The WCI collects on average over 25 market assessments per route per week and over 250 in total from which the final index is complied. However the minimum number of assessments collected per route per week is listed below:

Route Minimum
Shanghai - Rotterdam 16
Rotterdam - Shanghai 16
Shanghai - Genoa 16
Genoa - Shanghai 16
Shanghai - Los Angeles 16
Los Angeles - Shanghai 16
Shanghai - New York 16
New York - Rotterdam 16
Rotterdam - New York 16
Los Angeles - Rotterdam 16
Rotterdam - Los Angeles 16

Market Disruption

In the event that the WCI is not able to collect sufficient data to meet the above minimums in any one week it will source data directly from Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. Drewry Shipping Consultants will use their expert opinion to provide a representative average rate for the previous 2 days based on reported agreed freight rates on similar routes and Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd’s own experience.

Surcharges

Rates for the World Container Index are reported on a container yard (CY) to container yard basis and do not include any charges for intermodal (inland) transportation.

The surcharges included in the total ocean freight reported by the index are:

World Container Index Bunker adjustment factor
World Container Index Emergency bunker adjustment factor, if any
World Container Index Currency Adjustment Factor
World Container Index Peak Season Surcharge
World Container Index Equipment management fee/surcharge
World Container Index Port additional/port dues
World Container Index Emergency risk surcharge
World Container Index Port security charge
World Container Index Carrier security charge
World Container Index Submission of cargo declaration fee /US automated manifest fee
World Container Index Suez Canal transit fee/surcharge
World Container Index Panama Canal surcharge
World Container Index Gulf of Aden surcharge
World Container Index Port congestion surcharge

The surcharges which are not included in the total ocean freight/the index are:

World Container Index Documentation/bill of lading fee
World Container Index Booking fee
World Container Index Customs clearance fee

Terminal Handling Charges

The terminal handling charges (THCs) are included or excluded in the total ocean freight reported by the index are as follows:

Route Asia THC US THC EUR THC
Shanghai - Rotterdam Excluded   Excluded
Rotterdam - Shanghai Excluded   Included
Shanghai - Genoa Excluded   Excluded
Genoa - Shanghai Excluded   Included
Shanghai - Los Angeles Excluded Included  
Los Angeles - Shanghai Excluded Included  
Shanghai - New York Excluded Included  
Los Angeles - Rotterdam   Included Included
Rotterdam - Los Angeles   Included Included
New York - Rotterdam   Included Included
Rotterdam - New York   Included Included

Methodology

Panellists provide up to 4 market assessments each per week for each route on which they submit data. As described in the Market Assessment section above, each market assessment is for a rate which that panellist has agreed with a major carrier. These market assessments are then calculated into the minor indices using the following method.

On a per route basis:

World Container Index The median of all rates submitted is calculated
World Container Index Any rate more than 20% above or below this median is discarded
World Container Index The remaining rates are sorted into reports for the specific carriers monitored
World Container Index The mathematical average rate for each carrier monitored is reported
World Container Index The mathematical average of all individual carrier mathematical averages is calculated – this is the final WCI rate for that route for that week

This process is shown in the below diagram:

World Container Index

Only the final WCI rate is published the WCI does not report the rates of individual panellists or individual shipping lines. The process ensures that a single market assessment is indistinguishable in the final WCI rate.