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PRESS RELEASE:

May 07, 2014: More shippers are benchmarking their container shipping costs to ensure that they secure the most favourable freight rates possible.

A fast growing number of major US, Asian and Europe-based international companies, including FMCG, industrial and chemicals multinationals and a top-three US retailer, have joined Drewry's recently launched Benchmarking Club.

The Club provides members the opportunity to benchmark their shipping costs against their peers and so aid their freight procurement processes. Member organisations provide their contract rates confidentially to Drewry and in exchange these are aggregated with other members' rates to provide benchmark contract rates based on an average of the submitted rates.

Such cost benchmarking clubs are already common in the fields of road transport, raw materials and energy costs, and are now developing in more specialised areas like ocean transport.

"Drewry's Benchmarking Club enables us to ensure that we secure competitive freight rates with carriers and identify lanes where we could possibly further lower our costs," said Scott Larson, vice president of global logistics & customs at US retailer The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. and a member of Drewry's Benchmarking Club. "We selected Drewry's Benchmarking Club to benchmark our ocean rates with other retail industry leaders and to gain insight into container shipping market trends, forecasts and best practices through webinars provided to Club members by Drewry."

Contract rate information held by Drewry's Benchmarking Club is confidential and only available to members, who are limited to importers and exporters and exclude freight forwarders or NVOCCs. Drewry will be publishing an index of contract rates across multiple trades on a quarterly basis to improve visibility of trends (but not actual rates) in the contract market.

"Presently, there is plenty of visibility on spot rates, via Drewry's Container Freight Rate Insight and World Container Index for example, but very little on contract rates," said Philip Damas, director of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. "Drewry's Benchmarking Club will also enable exporters and importers, for the first time, to know the seafreight cost advantage of large shippers relative to medium and small shippers," he added.

Membership of Drewry's Benchmarking Club is open to all importers and exporters, but excludes freight forwarders, NVOCCs and carriers. Membership includes four benchmarking reports a year, a single site licence to Drewry's Container Freight Rate Insight (www.drewry.co.uk/cfri), two market briefings and two best practice forums providing networking opportunities between members.

Drewry Maritime Research is the research arm of the Drewry group. Drewry also includes two advisory brands, Drewry Maritime Advisors and Drewry Supply Chain Advisors and specialist investment research brand Drewry Maritime Equity Research.