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Need to Ship? Freight Rates Turn Negative

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A drop in costs. A drop in costs.

If you’ve got a few tons of stuff to ship several thousand miles, today is your lucky day.

That’s because shipping rates have just gone negative.

According to Bloomberg News, shipping operator Global Maritime Investments rented out a vessel to commodities trading house Glencore International at a ridiculous rate of negative $2,000 a day.

That means GMI, one of the world’s largest privately owned freight trading groups, essentially paid London-based Glencore to ship its grain to Europe from Australia. GMI likely picked up the tab for fuel costs, which are typically paid for by the chartering group. 

“They’re doing this because you can’t just have ships sitting. If they sit too long, then that’s hard on the ships. They have to keep them loaded and moving from port to port,” said Darin Newsom, senior commodities analyst at DTN.

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