20% of global container fleet is over 20 years old

In a recent report by Alphaliner, just over 20% of the world’s cellular ships are 20 years old or over, with a total capacity of 2.9M TEU. Most of these ships are relatively small by current standards, with only a third having capacities of 3,000 TEU or more.

Older ships, while in good condition, might face retirement or assignment to less profitable markets due to newer, more energy-efficient competition, particularly those lacking scrubbers (exhaust gas cleaning systems).

The increase in new ship deliveries is expected to reach 2.4M TEU in 2023, 2.0M TEU in 2024 and 2.0M TEU in 2025 means that older vessels will have to be scrapped to counterbalance the increasing surplus caused by the influx of new ships.



Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US, rates have increased slightly this week and rates will not reduce anytime soon. 
    • This is because the market is busy with increased orders of e-commerce cargo.
    • Rates to the US have also increased due to the Anchorage blizzard in the US. 
  • From NGB to Europe and the US, the market remains busy due to the peak season. 
    • The final rate is offered on a case-by-case basis.

North China to USA and Europe:

  • From TSN to Europe and the US, rates have increased for Korean Airlines to both destinations. 
    • Space is fully booked until 19th November to both destinations on Korean Airlines. 
    • Space on Asiana Airlines is limited but they may take bookings on a case-by-case basis. 
  • From PEK to Europe and the US, rates have increased on most major airlines and space is limited. 
    • Major services from PEK to Europe include: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Air China, KLM, Air France, Japan Airlines.
    • Major services from PEK to the US include: Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Eva Air. 
  • From TAO to Europe and the US, the market is stable but space is tighter due to an increase of e-commerce cargo.
    • Rates will need to be checked on a case-by-case basis. 

South China to USA and Europe:

  • As it is peak season, all airlines have increased their rates and space from CAN to Europe and the US
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis.
  • From SZX to Europe and the US, the market has become busier. 
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis.
  • From XMN to Europe, space is very tight and rates have increased. To the US, the market is extremely busy and airlines have cancelled even more flights. The market remains busy due to e-commerce cargo. 
    • Final rates depend on a case-by-case basis.


  • The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), which represents 45,000 dockworkers on the US East and Gulf Coasts, reaffirmed its commitment to strike if a new labour contract is not agreed upon by 30 September 2024.
    • The ILA’s key demands include higher wages, a guarantee that its members will get work at new terminals, and a ban on terminal automation.
    • The union has already sued employers over a hybrid labour model at a terminal in Charleston, South Carolina, and the case is now before the US Supreme Court.
    • The ILA has also urged local branches to start negotiations early in order to avoid delays in the master contract talks.


  • According to Sea Intelligence, North America East Coast ports have shown decent growth in laden import volumes, contrary to the North America West Coast, as laden volumes are still contracting.
    • Annualised growth of laden imports on the NAEC compared to 2019, pre-pandemic levels has increased in June and July, growing 3.2% and 4.0% respectively. The average growth over the first eight months of the year stands at 2.4%. 
    • The ratio of import volumes between the West and East coasts is currently trending in favour of the East Coast ports.


  • Antwerp, Belgium:
    • At PSA 913, yard utilisation has increased to 65-70%, while reefers remain at 50-55%.
      • There are ongoing bollard works, with completion being delayed until December. 
    • At PSA 869, yard utilisation remains between 70-75% and reefers are at 50-55%. 
      • Civil works have started, resulting in a 400 metre reduction of berth, allowing one large vessel alongside at times. There are no negative impacts on operations. 
    • At AGW, yard utilisation stands at 50-55% and reefer plugs are at 50-55% utilisation.
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands:
    • At the Europe Container Terminals, yard utilisation remains stable  at 55-60%. There are sufficient reefer plugs for the current demand. 
    • At the Rotterdam World Gateway, yard utilisation is at 55-60% and reefer plug utilisation is at a sufficient capacity of 50-55%.
      • The terminal is still operating efficiently, even with high berth utilisation.


  • Liege Airport in Belgium has expressed that legislation restricting future flight movements will not hinder its development. 
    • The 20 year environment permit issued by the Walloon Government in January restricted movements to 55,000 movements per year. 
    • The airport has said it will still allow room for growth, doubling the current capacity of 27,000 movements to accommodate an additional 79 flights daily. 
    • This is a more favourable outcome compared to the original permit, which set a maximum limit of 50,000 aircraft movements per year for aircraft over 34 tons.


  • European haulage spot rates fell for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q3 2023, while contract rates climbed for the first time since Q4 2022 according to the latest European Road Freight Index 2023. 
    • The index, published by Upply, Ti and IRU, revealed that spot rates fell to 125.4, which is 1.2 points lower than in Q2 2023 and 14.8 points down year-on-year.
    • Contract rates in Q3 2023 rose to 128.1, which is 1.4 points higher than in Q2 2023 and just 0.4 points down on Q3 2022.
    • The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has said that if the European sector continues to ‘stagnate’, contract rates may start to decrease. 


  • The Mumbai Maersk, a 20,568 TEU capacity ship, has set a new record for the deepest draft vessel to call at the Port of Felixstowe.
    • The ship arrived on 11th November from Bremerhaven, with a draft of 16.8 metres and sailed 24 hours later with a draft of 17.0 metres.
    • This record was set just weeks after the port announced the completion of a £130m project to deepen the approaches to the port and its main container berths. 
    • The Mumbai Maersk operates on Maersk’s Line AE10 service, bridging Europe and Asia. 

European Bank Holidays

We anticipate a shortage of availability and the occurrence of delays around the bank holiday periods. Plan ahead and allow extra time for your products to be delivered.


Nov 9 – Spain*

Nov 11 – Austria*, Belgium, France, Poland

Nov 15 – Austria*, Belgium*

Nov 17 – Czech Republic, Slovakia

Nov 18 – Croatia, Latvia

Nov 20 – Latvia

Nov 22 – Germany*

Nov 30 – Romania

December 1 – Portugal, Romania

December 4 – Spain*

December 6 – Finland, Spain

December 8 – Austria, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain

December 13 – Malta

December 24 – Austria*, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg*, Slovakia, Sweden*

December 25 – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Eire), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta*, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

December 26 – Austria, Belgium*, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France*, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Eire), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain*, Sweden

December 27 – Bulgaria, Ireland (Eire)*

December 31 – Latvia, Sweden*

*Not in all regions

The route ahead

The information that is available in the Weekly Market Update comes from a variety of online sources, partners and our own teams. Click below to learn more about how Zencargo can help make your supply chain your competitive advantage.

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