Rapid-fire pitch: TAC Index brings price discovery, benchmarks to air cargo

( Photo: TAC Index )

The TAC Index is the world’s leading provider of live market intelligence to the air freight industry. The Hong Kong-based firm collects actual transaction data and publishes reference prices for major origin-destination pairs. TAC Index says its “indices are compiled using transparent and verifiable processes, providing market participants with confidence in their objectivity and making them suitable for financial instruments.”

TAC Index presented its platform at MarketWaves18 in Dallas in front of a crowd of 1,000 transportation, technology, and finance executives.

“We are the TAC Index, the first settlement price for air cargo—ever,” began Peyton Burnett, TAC Index Managing Director. Burnett went on to speak about the opacity of the air cargo market, which is briefly illuminated only during bid season, before “darkness descends” again.

“Have I procured well? I don’t know; I’ve got nothing to benchmark against,” Burnett said.

“As the TAC Index has been constructed as a settlement price, third parties can develop new products never before available using TAC Index as the anchor point. This includes dynamic price quotes, index-linked contracts for both physical and paper delivery, forward curves or route baskets,” Burnett said.

The idea is that shippers reliant on air cargo and providers of air cargo capacity can participate in a futures market to hedge against price volatility risk. 

“This has the potential to create a $100-200 billion paper market that does not currently exist,” Barnett concluded.

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.