8 Main Factors that Affect Ocean Freight Rates

Whilst transporting commodities through oceanic routes, ocean freight plays the most important role among other factors. The levy of ocean freight however depends on a number of factors. This is why transporters hiring shipping vessels need to be careful when it comes to understanding the rates applicable.

Understanding ocean freight rates and the ways and means of its applicability is important because if a shipper undertakes to transport the goods without proper knowledge, then he could end up making a huge loss.

Ocean Freight Rates

The following are the factors affecting ocean freight rates:

1. Intended destination: The intended destination is an important factor when it comes to calculating ocean freight rates. In simple terms, the longer the journey, the exorbitant the ocean shipping rates and vice-versa

2. Service Charges: Any extra charge levied by port authorities like the security service charges also tends to affect the ocean freight rate

3. Season: For certain goods, the season becomes a very important factor. Grains and fruits transported during a particular freight season will have higher cargo rates and vice versa

4. Currency: In today’s times, the common denomination used for international transaction purposes is the dollar. Ocean freight rate depends on the fluctuating rate of exchanges and therefore is likely to be levied on the latest prevailing exchange rate

5. Fines and Fees: If there is any delay in ship reaching the port because of over-crowding, then there might  be a fine imposed which affects the ocean shipping rates

6. Terminal Fees: The ocean freight also depends on the fees to be paid while embarking the journey from a port and after reaching the intended destination. These fees known as terminal fees also affect ocean freight rate

7. Bunker Capacity: Bunkers are containers to store the fuel. Rising fuel prices and the latest prevailing fuel rates will affect the freight charges

8. Container Capacity: The containers used to store the goods function on the simple economic principle of ‘economies of scale.’ If the shipper does not have enough goods to fill the containers to their optimum capacity, it will affect the freight charges by way of the shipper having to pay more in spite of lesser quantity

Ocean shipping rates are generally pre-set and are standardised. But frequent shippers can make use of client-business relationship to avail of discounts and waivers. In a similar manner, shippers who use chartered vessels to transport their goods have to pay an amount which is settled on the day the transporting agreement is made between both parties.

Ocean freight is a highly unpredictable area. Lately a lot of research has been done in order to provide a better insight on the field. This will enable shippers to carry out their transporting of goods in a better and simpler manner.  

You may also like to read-Different Types of Marine Insurance & Marine Insurance Policies

References: roelogistics, panalpina, businesslink, oceanfreightrates, homeshipping

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