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What Is Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)? | Speed Commerce

What Is Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)?

3PL Glossary > Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)

What Is Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)?

The currency adjustment factor (CAF) is a mechanism used in international shipping and freight forwarding to account for fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Shipping rates are often negotiated and agreed upon in a specific currency, such as the U.S. dollar or the Euro. However, since exchange rates between currencies can vary over time, the Currency Adjustment Factor is introduced to compensate for these fluctuations. The CAF is typically expressed as a percentage, and it is added to or subtracted from the base freight rate to reflect the impact of currency exchange rate changes.

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The purpose of the currency adjustment factor is to provide stability and transparency in international shipping contracts. By incorporating the CAF into the freight rates, both shippers and carriers can better manage the financial risks associated with currency exchange rate fluctuations. When exchange rates strengthen or weaken, the CAF helps ensure that the agreed-upon freight rates remain fair and reflective of the current economic conditions. This mechanism allows parties involved in international trade to better predict and manage their costs.

CAF values are often updated regularly, and adjustments are made based on changes in currency exchange rates. The CAF is just one of several surcharges or adjustments that may be applied in international shipping contracts, alongside other factors such as fuel surcharges and peak season surcharges. Understanding and monitoring these factors are essential for businesses engaged in international trade to accurately budget and plan for shipping costs.


No. The currency adjustment factor is not a fixed percentage but rather a dynamic one that changes based on fluctuations in currency exchange rates. It is regularly updated to reflect the current economic conditions and mitigate the impact of currency value changes on international shipping costs.

No. While the CAF addresses currency exchange rate fluctuations, there are other surcharges or adjustments commonly applied in international shipping contracts. These may include fuel surcharges, peak season surcharges, and various fees associated with specific shipping routes or services.

No. The currency adjustment factor is specifically relevant to international shipping contracts where transactions involve different currencies. In domestic shipping, where transactions typically occur in the same currency, the need for a currency adjustment is generally not present.

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