Freight Indices

I. Compilation and Publication of SCFI
1. What is SCFI?
SCFI is the abbreviation of Shanghai Containerized Freight Index that reflects the fluctuation of spot freight rates on export container transport market from Shanghai.
2. What is the definition of freight rates of individual routes?

The freight rate of individual routes of SCFI is the average all-in price which considers the spot ocean freights and related seaborne surcharges.


The ports of destination are the base ports of the route, e.g. Mediterranean Sea—Barcelona/Valencia/Genoa/Naples, Europe—Hamburg/Antwerp/Felixstowe/Le Havre, USWC—Los Angeles/Long Beach/Oakland, USEC—New York/Savannah/Norfolk/Charleston, West Japan—Osaka/Kobe, East Japan—Tokyo/Yokohama


The seaborne surcharges include:

  • Bunker Adjustment Factor(BAF)/ Fuel Adjustment Factor(FAF)/ Low Sulphur Surcharge(LSS)
  • Emergency Bunker Surcharge(EBS)/ Emergency Bunker Additional (EBA)
  • Currency Adjustment Factor(CAF)/ Yen Appreciation Surcharge (YAS)
  • Peak Season Surcharge(PSS)
  • War Risk Surcharge(WRS)
  • Port Congestion Surcharge (PCS)
  • Suez Canal transit Fee/Surcharge (SCS)/ Suez Canal Fee (SCF)/ Panama Transit Fee (PTF)/ Panama Canal Charge (PCC).

Landside surcharge, such as Terminal Handle Charge(THC) at both ends, Port Facility Security Surcharge, South China Place of Origin Surcharge, US Automatic Customs Declaration Charge and Inland On-carriage Charges are not included.


The freight rate unit is USD/TEU. For US east and west coasts, USD/FEU is applied.


Trade and transport term: export CIF, CY—CY


Container type/cargo description: General dry cargo container. For US east and west coasts, general cargo is applied.

3. What are the main differences between SCFI and CCFI?
1) Different geographic coverage: SCFI composite index is a weighted average of 15 individual routes. The individual trade route reflects the export container market from Shanghai by an average spot freight rates with a port-to-port freight level; CCFI composite index reflects China’s nationwide export container transport by the indices of individual routes showing the ups and downs of the entire shipping routes.

2) Different target market: SCFI targets at the spot rates of Shanghai export container transport market, which is more sensitive and periodical; CCFI targets the overall freight level (including spot and contractual rates) of China’s export container transport market, which is more comprehensive and macroeconomic.
4. What are the components of SCFI sample data?
The sample data for SCFI calculation are collected from the panelists of CCFI, including liner companies and shipper/freight forwarding enterprises. All panelists of CCFI panel are world-renowned enterprises with outstanding performance and sound reputation in shipping circle. Click the following URL for the name list: http://en.sse.net.cn/indices/panelistsnew.jsp
5. How is SCFI calculated?
Arithmetic mean is applied to calculation of SCFI freight rates of individual routes. The composite index is calculated by weighting average. The basis period of composite index is 16th October, 2009 and the basis index is 1,000 points.
6. When is SCFI publicized?
SCFI is publicized at 15:00 Beijing Time on the date of publication.
7. How do you decide the dates of SCFI publication?
The date of publication is generally each Friday, which is adjusted according to statutory holidays. The specific dates of publication will be decided and made known to public by Shanghai Shipping Exchange.
8. What are the differences between freight filing and SCFI freight index?
  Freight Filing Freight Index
Purpose Market regulating Market information Communication
Principals and scope All liner operators and NVOCCs 20 liner companies and 17 NVOCCs/forwarders voluntarily join the panel
SSE role Freight filing accepting organ Freight index compilation and publication organ
Content of freight rates Tariff rates and the contractual rates Spot rates assessment, which are weekly space-booking rates with definitive route, basic ports, type of container, price term, pricing criteria, etc.
Characteristics of freight rates Rates to be executer that may be changed Rates for actual transaction
Reporting time Filing of tariff rate must one month in advance; filing of contractual rate must 24 hours in advance Before 12:00 Beijing Time of each index publication date; time and frequency fixed
Information Processing Non-processing at all Freight indices calculation subject to prescribed rules
SSE sets up two separated confidential mechanism for freight filing and freight index; The two projects are run by two mutually independent departments; Systems of freight filing and freight index are different, which are strictly separated in terms of rules, management, personnel and information system.

II.Compiling and publishing of CDFI 

1. What is CDFI?
CDFI is the abbreviations of China Import Dry Bulk Freight Index for reflecting the change of the spot market of China import dry bulk transport market. Published by Shanghai Shipping Exchange, CDFI includes one composite index, one Voyage Charter (VC) index, one Time Charter on Trip Basis (TCT) index and VC/TCT rates of individual routes.
What’s the market coverage of CDFI?
VC/TCT rates of individual routes show the spot freight rate development of the market, which are presented by 3 TCT routes and 12 VC routes. Four major Chinese importing commodities (eg. Iron ore, Coal, Grain, Nickel) and 3 major ship types (eg. Cape, Panamax and Supramax) were involved. The index presentation combines both VC (US dollar/Ton) and TCT (US dollar/day) format. Please log on webpage ( http://www.sse.net.cn/index/cdfinew.jsp), for the details and the parameters of the routes.
3. What are the components of CDFI sample data?
The sample data are collected from the panelists of CDFI, which include ship owners/operators, shippers/agents and brokers. All the panelists are the world-known firms or those enjoy sound reputation and good credit standing in certain fields. Please click the following URL for the name list:http://en.sse.net.cn/indices/introduction_cdfi_new.jsp
4. Why do we use the data from three parties in CDFI calculation?
The sample data of CDFI calculation come from three parties, namely carriers, shippers and brokers, who are the dealers of market. As the middleman, brokers can provide the rate assessments that derive from their broking business. Besides broking transactions, many charter parties were directly reached by carriers and cargo owners/traders given the reality of the China import dry bulk transport market. Hence, this three-party reporting mechanism suits the Chinese market better, with a more rational data structure and comprehensive information.
5. How are VC/TCT rates of CDFI individual indices calculated?
Panelists’ rates for returning route have been included in the average mean value, and both the highest and lowest are excluded.

Pi: Average VC rate /Average TCT rate in i trade route
Pij: VC rate / TCT rate of j company in i trade route
n: Number of samples included in calculation of i trade route.
m highest values in i trade route.
m lowest values in i trade route, m< n/2

The minimum number of samples involved in each published trade lane is Five. If the minimum number cannot be satisfied due to force majeure or any other special factors, SSE has the right to maintain, postpone or suspend publishing of index.
The number of highest and lowest rate which will be excluded in each trade route depands on the total sample number of the specific publication.
n<7, No highest and lowest values will be removed
7≤n<20, 1 highest and 1 lowest values will be removed
20≤n<30, 2 highest and 2 lowest values will be removed
30≤n<40, 3 highest and 3 lowest values will be removed
Trimmean will be applied when n>20. This removes 20% percentage of the largest and smallest values before calculating the mean.
6. How is VC/ TCT index calculated?
The methodology of weighted mean is applied in the calculation of average rates of typical routes of CDFI.


Ivc VC index
Itc: TCT index
I0vc , I0tc: Base rate of VC index and TCT index
Pio VC/ TCT rates for i trade route in base period.
Pi: VC/ TCT rates for i trade route in calculation period
Wi: Weighting for VC index and TCT index in i trade route
k: Trade route that include in the calculation of VC index
l: Trade route involved in the calculation of TCT index
The Base period of VC index and TCT index is 28th November 2012, with base point 1000.
Weighting factor for trade routes of CDFI(28th November 2013)
Index/Routes Charterparty type Weighting in VC Index Weighting in TCT Index
North China/Australia Round Voyage TCT 50%
Dampier(West Australia)—Qingdao(China) VC 20%
Tubarao(Brazil)—Qingdao(China) VC 20%
Saldanha(South Africa)—Qingdao(China) VC 5%
Richards Bay(South Africa)—Zhoushan(China) VC 0%
Newcastle(Australia)—Zhoushan(China) VC 7.5%
South China via East Australia/China TCT 30%
Hay Point(Australia) —Zhoushan (China) VC 7.5%
Samarinda(Indonesia) — Guangzhou (China) VC 10%
Santos(Brazil)— North China VC 5%
Tacoma(West America)—North China VC 5%
Mississippi(US Gulf) —North China VC 5%
South China /Indonesia Round Voyage TCT 20%
Taboneo(Indonesia) — Guangzhou (China) VC 10%
Surigao(Philippines) — Rizhao(China) VC 5%
Total weighting 100% 100%
7. How is CDFI composite index calculated?
The composite index is the weighted mean of VC index and TCT index.

I: Composite index.
IVC: VC Index
ITCT TCT index
WVC , WTCT Weighting factors for VC index, TCT index.
The base period of composite index is set on 28th November 2012, with base index value of 1000 points.
Weighting factor of VC/ TCT index of CDFI(28th Nov, 2013)
Item Weighting Factor
W VC 60%
W TCT 40%
8. When is CDFI publicized?
CDFI will be publicized at 17:00(Beijing Time) on each date of publication via www.sse.net.cn and www.chineseshipping.com.cn
9. How are the publication dates decided?
The date of CDFI publication is generally on each working day,or equals from Monday to Friday, which is adjusted according to statutory holidays. The specific dates of publication will be decided and made known to public by Shanghai Shipping Exchange.

Ⅲ Compiling and publishing of CTFI 

1.What is CTFI?
CTFI is the abbreviation of China Import Oil Tanker Freight Index that shows the fluctuation of spot freight rates of Chinese import crude oil tanker transport market.
Published by Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE), the index includes one composite index and WS rate of individual routes.
Remind: For WS flat rate information, please log on to: http://www.worldscale.co.uk/ and subscribe WS membership.
2.What's the market coverage of CTFI?
Two voyage charter trade routes are included, from the ME Gulf Ras Tannura to China Ningbo and from West Africa Malongo and Djeno to China Ningbo respectively. Both routes are for Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), 265,000 MT type for the former and 260,000 MT type for the latter. For the details and the parameters of the routes, please click the following link: http://www.sse.net.cn/index/singleIndex?indexType=ctfi..
3.What are the components of CTFI sample data?
The sample data are collected from the panelists of CTFI, which include ship owners/operators, shippers/agents and brokers. All the panelists are the world-known firms or those enjoy sound reputation and good credit standing in certain field. Please click the following URL for the name list: http://www.sse.net.cn/indexIntro?indexName=ctfi
4.Why do we use the data from three parties in CTFI calculation?
The sample data of CTFI calculation come from three parties, namely carriers, shippers and brokers, which are the dealers of market. As the middleman, brokers can provide the rate assessments which derive from their broking business. Besides broking transactions, many charter parties are directly reached by carriers and cargo owners/traders given the reality of the China import crude oil transport market. Hence, this three-party reporting mechanism suits the Chinese market better, with a more rational data structure and comprehensive information
5.How is CTFI individual indices (WS rate) calculated?
Panelists’ rates for returning route have been included in the average mean value, and both the highest and lowest are excluded.
Pi: Average Freight rate (WS) in i trade route
Pij: WS Rate of j company in i trade route
n: Number of samples involved in calculation of i trade route.
: m highest number in i trade route;
: m lowest number in i trade route, m< n/2
The minimum number of samples involved in each published trade lane is Seven. If the minimum number cannot be satisfied due to force majeure or any special factor, SSE has the right to maintain publishing, postpone or suspend publishing of index.
The number of highest and lowest excluded in each trade route is decided by the sample number of the specific publication.
7≤n<20, 1 highest and 1 lowest number will be removed
20≤n<30,2 highest and 2 lowest number will be removed
30≤n<40,3 highest and 3 lowest number will be removed
Trimmean will be applied when n>20. This removes 20% percentage of the largest and smallest values before calculating the mean.    
6.How is CTFI composite index calculated?
The composite index is the weighted mean of Freight (WS) indeices

CTFI composite index
Average Freight Index (USD/Ton), converted from flat rate of WORLD SCALE based on current WS rate.
Average Freight Index (USD/Ton) in the base period.
CTFI composite ndex value in base period.
i: Trade route; m: Number of routes; Wi: Weighting factor for i trade route.
The base period of composite index is set on 28th November, 2012, with base index value of 1,000 points.
Weighting Factor of CTFI (28th November, 2013)
Routes Weighting Factor
ME Gulf Ras Tannura to China Ningbo 60%
West Africa Malongo and Djeno to China Ningbo 40%
7.When is CTFI publicized?
CTFI will be publicized at 17:00(Beijing Time) on each date of publication via www.sse.net.cn and www.chineseshipping.com.cn
8.How are the publication dates decided?
The date of CTFI publication is generally on each working day, Monday to Friday, which is adjusted according to statutory holidays. The specific dates of publication will be decided and made known to public by Shanghai Shipping Exchange.
Ⅳ. Index Queries and Subscription
1. Where can we find the freight indices?
Users may visit the official websites of Shanghai Shipping Exchange(SSE) or Chinese Shipping Website to check the freight indices.

SSE owns the intellectual property rights of SCFI, CCFI and CBFI. Without authorization in writing by SSE, all relevant data of SCFI are for perusal only. No entity or individual is allowed to duplicate, forward, transfer, revise, distribute, publicize or extract, republish or reuse for any public or commercial purpose.

2. How can I get the most recent updated freight indices and the history data?
Subscribers to freight indices can log on to www.sse.net.cn and http://www.chineseshipping.com.cn by username and password to obtain the most recent updated freight indices and the historical data of the past three years.
3. Can non-subscriber see the freight indices?
Non-subscribers may see the latest composite indices of SCFI and CCFI with one day time lag from the latest publish day.

Non-subscribers cannot get the historical data of freight indices.
4. How can I subscribe the indices?
Index subscribers are divided into three categories: common user, broker and others. Common user may read the data whilst distribution is not allowed. Please click “Subscription Agreement for Common User”. Broker refers to the user that uses SCFI as clearing benchmark of container freight swap agreement. Others refer to users other than the common user and broker. Common user shall follow the “Subscription Process” while broker and others shall contact us directly
5. What is the subscription fee for common user? Is there any discount?
The subscription fee of SCFI and CCFI for common user is CNY15,000/year and 40% discount is available from the second indices afterward(include the second one). e.g. if a client subscribes both SCFI and CCFI, the total subscription fee will be CNY24,000/year.
6. If SSE members enjoy the discount of index subscription?
Yes, different discounts will be offered to SSE members according to their membership levels.
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