Freight index serves as the barometer of the shipping market and thus is widely applied. To meet the demand of fast developing China's container transport market, China (Export) Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) sponsored by the Ministry of Transport and formulated by Shanghai Shipping Exchange was firstly publicized on April 13th 1998.
     During the past decade, CCFI has fully exerted its function of reflecting market tendency and therefore evoked worldwide repercussions with considerable economic and social effects. Owing to its scientific and authoritative approach, CCFI is deemed as the world second influential freight index following the Baltic Dry Bulk Freight Index and has been cited as authoritative statistics in the Shipping annals published by UNCTAD.
     CCFI objectively shows the container transport market and bridges China's shipping market to the world circle, which provides well-founded information to decision-makers of various shipping and trade enterprises as well as the governmental agency in charge of macro-economic regulation and control, thus attracting great attention of mass media and the related research and consulting institutes.
     Formulation and publication of CCFI:
    1. Basic period. CCFI took January 1, 1998 as the basic period with the basic index of 1,000 points.
    2. Selection of sample trade lanes. As per the three major principles of typicality, relativity and regional layout, 12 trade lanes were chosen as the samples, namely South Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Mediterranean, Europe, East and West Africa, USWC, USEC, South Africa, South America, Persian Gulf / Red sea services. Their ports of departure in China include ten hub ports i.e. Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
    3. Collection of freight information. At present, 22 domestic and foreign shipping companies with high international prestige and large market shares voluntarily established the freight rate formulation committee. They are (in English alphabetical order): CMA-CGM, COSCO Shipping Lines Co., Ltd., Hamburg Süd (China) Limited, Hapag-Lloyd, Kline, Maersk, MOL, MSC, NYK, OOCL, PIL, RCL, Shanghai Hai Hua Shipping, Shanghai Jin Jiang Shipping, Sinotrans Container Lines, SITC Container Lines, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, EVERGREEN MARINE CORP. (TAIWAN) LTD.,  Korea Marine Transport (China) Co., LTD., Wan Hai Lines Ltd., T.S. LINES LIMITED, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (China) Co., LTD.
    4. Publication: Shanghai Shipping Exchange issues CCFI composite index and the individual freight indices or 14 trade lanes on each Friday.