Thumbs up for Valencia index

Industry Database

COMMENT: The Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI) – a new initiative developed by the Valencia Port Authority and the research/study body Valenciaport Foundation – is, according to Aurelio Martinez, president of the Port Authority of Valencia, intended to fill an information gap regarding maritime freight rates for key maritime routes connected to the Mediterranean, and particularly in the first instance for export freight rates from Valencia, writes Mike Mundy.

“Spain,” noted Mr Martinez at the official launch of the VCFI, “is an exporting power. Last year it handled 2.87m teu of loaded export containers, representing 1.4% of annual global loaded export container traffic.”

Against this background, he suggested, “the VCFI is destined to become the main indicator in the Mediterranean for this type of traffic”. It is also expected to fulfil an information role similar to that of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.

The basis of the VCFI, which will publish data on the second Friday of each month, is confidential statistical input from eight shipping companies and four freight forwarders. The Index has had a base value of 1,000 attributed from January 2018, and it is against this reference point that future values will be established.

It is recognised that confirming the independence and accuracy credentials of the VCFI is critical to its success and, with this in mind, arrangements have been made for it to be audited annually. The audit particularly aims to confirm statistical secrecy, that the VCFI methodology has been faithfully followed and that the information published is wholly accurate.

Mr Martinez further underlined: “Valenciaport is the leading port in the Mediterranean in container traffic; and with 4.83m teu handled in 2017 we closed the year as the leading port in Spain. Therefore what we seek with the VCFI Index is to provide guidance to market players on the evolution of export freight rates from the port of Valencia; and to be the reference for certain Mediterranean routes.”

There is every reason to expect that if the ‘rules of the game’ are strictly adhered to then this new Index will have a useful role to play and can over time be expanded into a comprehensive Mediterranean-focused Container Freight Index. In these current times of thin margins, any information which can help achieve profitability or enhanced service is to be welcomed.

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