Flat rate. A vessel may be chartered for shipment of various kinds of cargo, the specific nature of which is not known at the time of the fixture, or it may have to load for several ports within a certain range, out of which one port will be selected as the final port of discharge. In such cases the agreed freight rate is a “flat rate”. An example of reported fixture on a “flat rate” could read:
USG to Antwerp/Hamburg Range (Any Grains)
17 April 2010 “-” 22,OOOdwcc Charterer: . . .
Terms: 8 days FIO
Rate: US $ 10.75
Whether the ship is ordered to load at any port in the U.S. Gulf, for example, New Orleans or elsewhere on the Mississippi River, and to discharge at Antwerp or Hamburg or any port between these ports, the freight rate remains the same per metric ton although the distance between the parts, port costs and working conditions may all vary considerably.