Posted on January 4, 2023

Shipping lines are tempting shippers with a wide range of new, flexible, long-term contract options this year. There have been complaints of being “burned” by committing to rigid, highly elevated contracts a year ago.

Last year shipping lines offered ‘take it or leave it’ fixed-rate long-term contract options. There was very strong demand and an acute shortage of equipment and vessel capacity, so shipping lines made their own rules.

As consumer demand slumped in Europe and the US, and supply chain congestion eased around the world, container spot rates collapsed in the second half of 2022 to levels well below contract rates, meaning signed-up shippers were at a significant disadvantage to competitors using the spot market.

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