Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

All Commodity Rate

The All Commodity Rate (ACR) is a pricing structure used in freight transportation that offers a uniform rate for shipping various types of commodities between specified origin and destination points. 

All Commodity Rate in Shipping: The Backbone of Simplified Freight Pricing

What is All Commodity Rate (ACR)?

The All Commodity Rate is a pricing strategy employed by carriers that sets a uniform charge for transporting a wide range of commodities over a particular route. Unlike specific commodity rates that alter depending on the type of goods being shipped, the ACR offers a generalized rate which can be applied to all goods, or classes of goods, barring those that require special handling or are deemed hazardous.

The Genesis of ACR

The concept of the ACR arose from the need to streamline the pricing models for shipping goods. Traditionally, different commodities attracted various pricing structures, making it a cumbersome task for shippers to negotiate contracts and for carriers to manage their tariff systems. By instituting a universal pricing template, the ACR simplifies the process for all stakeholders.

How the ACR is Determined

Several factors converge to fix the ACR, which can include:

Shipping Distance: The greater the distance, the higher the rate could potentially be, due to increased fuel and operational costs.

Cargo Volume: Larger volumes might be eligible for lower rates given the economies of scale.

Cargo Value: High-value goods might influence the rate due to higher insurance costs.

Market Dynamics: Supply and demand, along with competition among carriers, can affect ACR pricing.

ACR's Benefits and Utility

1. Simplicity: ACRs reduce the complexity of shipping rates, making it easier for shippers to understand and forecast shipping costs.

2. Consistency: They offer a consistent rate that simplifies billing and auditing procedures.

3. Flexibility: Shippers benefit from the ability to transport different commodities without negotiating new rates for each type.

4. Predictability: ACRs provide a stable pricing environment that aids in long-term planning and budgeting.

ACR and Its Relationship with Contracts

ACRs are often locked in for a specified contractual term, offering stability in pricing. When used in contracts, they simplify the negotiation process as the rate is pre-determined, bypassing the need for negotiating different rates for different categories of commodities.

ACR's Impact on Shipping Strategies

Shippers can leverage an ACR to craft more efficient shipping strategies by consolidating various types of goods to take advantage of lower costs. Conversely, it encourages carriers to optimize their cargo mix to maximize the profitability of each shipment under the ACR umbrella.

Limitations and Considerations

Despite its numerous advantages, the ACR model does have limitations. Highly specialized or hazardous items typically fall outside the standard ACR due to the additional handling they require. Additionally, fluctuations in market conditions might lead carriers to adjust rates periodically.


In summary, the All Commodity Rate is a facilitative concept in the realm of freight and shipping, crafted to streamline the complexity of cargo transportation pricing. Through its unifying approach, the ACR provides a beacon of clarity in a sea of shipping variables. For shippers and carriers alike, the ACR is not merely a pricing mechanism; it is a strategic tool that fosters efficiency, predictability, and financial planning. As global commerce continues to evolve, the ACR stands as a crucial element enabling businesses to navigate the logistical challenges of sending goods across the globe with confidence.