Container Data, Futures and Forward Markets

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Data platforms offering insights into the container market are opening up forward markets as container futures begin to emerge, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

Ups and downs of shipping markets

Long before “futures” markets for freight came on the scene in the 1980’s and 1990’s, enabling drybulk and tanker owners, operators and cargo shippers to manage exposure to the ups and downs of shipping markets, they had “forward” markets.

Examples of transactions in the long-established dry and tanker forward markets, the province of the actual principals (rather than as a realm for outside traders) would include period time-charters and contracts of affreightment.

Many of these deals were confidential, but as these markets were opened up to traders, electronic trading venues with online price visibility offered what economists have called “price discovery”- meaning that anybody with a cellphone or computer could get a sense of the market by pulling up a screen.

In contrast, the liner sector has seen extensive contract coverage between larger cargo interests and the big carriers; an intermediary sector of smaller carriers—not operating vessels, but, instead, securing space on larger vessels—emerged to handle smaller cargo movers.

Read the full article here. 

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Source: Seatrade Maritime News