What is the Baltic Dry Index and why you should care?

16/12/2020 by Maxime Cournée

You might have heard the name before but you were not sure what it relates to. We are here to help!

Cargo boat

First of all - and you might have guessed - from the picture above, the Baltic Dry Index is a shipping index. 

It is actually composed of three sub-indices that measure different sizes of  ships: Capesize, Panamax, and Supramax. We know these sound like super-heroes names but they are actually shipping indices, we promise!

To simplify it, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is an index of average prices paid for the transport of dry bulk materials across 20 different routes. 

Why should you track it? 

If you buy transport/shipping, you might have realised the opacity of this market. Most of the time the only way for you to assess the price of a shipment is to “shop around” and ask several carriers but it doesn’t have to be this way!

Tracking the Baltic Dry Index can give you the trend you are looking for and is heavily used as a key indicator in transport negotiations. It is also viewed as a valuable indicator of the global economy’s status. It dropped sharply in 2008 juste before the economic crisis so it is worth keeping an eye on it when it drops.

Baltic dry index graph

Where can you find it?


You can track it directly on our platform or even get it delivered via an API directly to your systems so that you never lose track of it. Feel free to check how our API works here: 

Get in touch with so that we can help you to do so!