Working together towards decarbonising the shipping industry

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlights the urgent need for a fair transition to a decarbonised shipping industry, focusing on cleaner fuels, digital solutions, and equitable changes. 

Shipping is responsible for 80% of global trade volume and 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

According to UNCTAD, the transition to cleaner fuels is in its early stages as 99% of the world’s global fleet is still reliant on conventional fuels. However, 21% of vessels on order are designed to run on alternative fuels.

UNCTAD’s appeal for a fair and equitable shift towards a low- and zero-carbon future in the global shipping industry aims to secure widespread commitment and regulatory measures to address the growing environmental issues confronting the maritime sector.

If you’re interested in how sustainable regulations will affect the shipping industry, have a listen to our most recent episode of Freight to the Point. We’ve featured David de Picciotto, CEO and Co-founder of Pledge to get his insights on how sustainable regulations impact shippers and businesses and the consequences of not being compliant.

Listen to it here



  • The China-Russia trade imbalance stemming from the Ukraine invasion has resulted in approximately 150,000 TEU of empty containers being stranded in Russia.
    • Container xChange, an online box platform, conducted an analysis indicating that the surge in Chinese exports to Russia, following the Ukraine conflict, has created a shortage of available equipment for Chinese exporters. Concurrently, the prices of second-hand containers in Russia have significantly dropped.
    • Christian Roeloffs, Co-founder and CEO of Container xChange, noted the substantial cargo movement from China to Russia but minimal movement in the reverse direction.
    • As a result, containers have accumulated in Russia, leading to remarkably low second-hand container prices. 
    • Approximately 150,000 containers are currently stranded in Russia, with efforts underway to return them to China. Containers sent from Russia to China incur a pickup charge.
    • Many Chinese companies are selling containers at prices below market value to dispose of them, as sending them back to China is not cost-effective. 


  • Qatar Airways Cargo aims to utilise additional bellyhold capacity for two new destinations in China.
    • The airline’s passenger business now operates three flights per week to Chengdu (TFU) and Chongqing (CKG) using Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
    • Chongqing and Chengdu stations will primarily focus on export markets, providing a weekly capacity of 84 tonnes each way.
    • Exports will primarily consist of vulnerable/tech cargo, while imports will include general cargo, fish, seafood, and perishables.
    • Elisabeth Oudkerk, Senior Vice President Cargo Sales and Network Planning, expressed the airline’s expansion in Mainland China, emphasising the direct bellyhold capacity for imports and exports in these key markets.
    • Qatar Airways Cargo already serves various Mainland China destinations, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Zhengzhou, offering a total weekly cargo capacity of over 2,700 tonnes each way, including the newly introduced destinations.


  • The US International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has declared bankruptcy and entered Chapter 11 while stating that it will continue its operations as usual.
    • Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a procedure that allows businesses to address their debts while maintaining regular operations, often referred to as ‘reorganisation bankruptcy.’
    • ILWU leaders attributed this move to the ongoing litigation costs associated with a labour dispute with Filipino terminal operator ICTSI dating back to 2012. This dispute resulted in the closure of ICTSI’s Terminal 6 at the port of Portland.
    • Despite the bankruptcy filing, ILWU has indicated that its operations will proceed as usual during this process.


  • Daily ship crossings on the Panama Canal will be reduced from 32 to 31 due to a severe drought expected to persist into next year, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
    • The ACP has previously implemented various passage restrictions to conserve water, including reducing vessel draft and daily passage authorisations from the usual 36 per day.
    • In response to the ongoing water crisis, the ACP has announced additional changes to the rules, effective from November 1.
    • Under the updated regulations, a daily allocation of nine vessels will utilise the Neopanamax lock, while 22 will employ the Panamax lock. Transit reservation limits will be capped at 30 per day.
    • To mitigate potential delays and ship congestion, the ACP will implement a revised timetable for both Neopanamax and Panamax locks. This modification will enable customers to make adjustments to their schedules and minimise waiting periods for vessels that do not adhere to a daily transit schedule.


  • Here are some recent port updates from Hapag-Lloyd:
    • Antwerp, Belgium:
      • At PSA 913, yard utilisation has increased slightly to 65-70%,  while reefers remain at 70-75%, and MTs remain at a low level of 30-35%.
      • At PSA 869, yard utilisation has increased to 55-60%, reefers have also increased to 45-50%, and MTs are at 55-60% utilisation.
      • At AGW, yard utilisation is now at 45-50%, reefer plugs have increased to 45-50% utilisation, and MTs have decreased to 45-50%. 
    • Rotterdam, Netherlands:
      • At the Europe Container terminals, yard utilisation remains at 55-60% and equipment availability is at 100%.
      • At the Rotterdam World Gateway, yard utilisation is stable at 60-65%, and reefer plug utilisation is at a sufficient capacity of 50-55%. 


  • Amazon plans to shut down its air cargo hub at Leipzig Halle Airport, a central part of its European flight network.
    • The decision is part of Amazon’s ongoing network evaluation to align with business needs and enhance customer experience.
    • Amazon emphasises its commitment to investing in the Leipzig region, supporting around 2,000 employees and maintaining customer deliveries.
    • The closing date is not yet announced but is expected to be within the current year.


  • Plans to establish a cargo hub at Manston Airport in the UK have received a boost as a High Court judge recently dismissed attempts to block the development.
    • Logistics UK’s policy advisor, Ellis Shelton, welcomed the news, emphasising the importance of reviving Manston Airport for freight transportation to support the UK economy, enhance international trade, and achieve carbon net-zero targets.
    • Airport developer RiverOak Strategic Partners views this as a significant and positive development towards transforming Manston into a state-of-the-art airfreight hub.
    • The £500 million plans for Manston Airport include 19 stands capable of handling widebody freighters and a 65,500 sq m cargo facility.
    • Manston Airport’s expansion runway, measuring 2,748 m in length and 230 m in width, is one of the widest in the UK.


  • Logistics UK warns that businesses are unprepared for new customs rules and checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework.
    • The Windsor Framework was introduced to address border delays caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
    • It introduces a green and red lane system for customs checks based on the destination of goods entering Northern Ireland.
    • Goods for sale in Northern Ireland face minimal checks if firms join Trusted Trader schemes, while those bound for the EU require more comprehensive checks.
    • Logistics UK’s Nichola Mallon warns of a steep learning curve for businesses as many businesses are not ready for these changes. 
    • The government offers a £50m support package for labelling costs and extends the Movement Assistance Scheme.

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.


Oct 3 – Germany

Oct 5 – Portugal

Oct 9 – Spain*

Oct 10 – Austria*

Oct 12 – Spain

Oct 23 – Hungary

Oct 26 – Austria

Oct 28 – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece

Oct 30 – Ireland (Eire)

Oct 31 – Germany*, Slovenia

Nov 1 – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany*, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

Nov 2 – Belgium*, Lithuania

Nov 4 – Finland, Sweden

Nov 9 – Spain*

Nov 11 – Austria*, Belgium, France, Poland

Nov 15 – Austria*, Belgium*

Nov 17 Friday Czech Republic, Slovakia

Nov 18 – Croatia, Latvia

Nov 20 – Latvia

Nov 22 – Germany*

Nov 30 – Romania

*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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