Sometimes misunderstood, sometimes overlooked among transportation exchange traded funds, the Guggenheim Shipping ETF (NYSEArca: SEA) is arguably a gem for traders looking for an accurate reading on near- to medium-term risk appetite.

Just do not make the mistake of assuming that SEA trades in lockstep with the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of daily charter rates to ship a variety of commodities. SEA holds 27 stocks and that group does NOT include day trader favorites such as DryShips (NasdaqGM: DRYS), Baltic Trading (NYSE: BALT), Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX) and related firms. It is a good thing that SEA is not intimately linked to the Baltic Dry Index’s fortunes because the index has struggled recently. [Shipping ETF Trounces Baltic Dry Index]

SEA has not. The fund is up 2.9% to start 2014, a performance that is more than twice as good as the iShares Transportation Average ETF (NYSEArca: IYT). SEA has also made its way back to its highest levels in two and a half years as the S&P 500 and the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (NasdaqGS: ACWI) have started the year in the red. Tuesday’s close above $22 could prove significant for SEA. [Shipping ETF Searches for More Upside]

“In the later half of 2013, SEA was trading in a pretty tight range, but still managed to post a 34% gain for the year. In late December, it broke out of its range and continued higher into 2014, hitting a 52-week high today. Looking at the daily 6-month chart, SEA also recently broke out of a pennant continuation pattern, which suggests more upside,” according to Tom Psarofagis of AGD Capital Management.

Psarofagis notes that the $22 area has previously been stiff resistance for SEA, confirming the notion that a string of closes above that price point should encourage fresh buying.