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The shipping year that was 2023

The shipping year that was 2023
The shipping year that was 2023

The shipping deadlines have been set for the peak season. Globally, consumers and companies are gearing up for the holiday season. We now reflect on 2023, the year that was and what lies ahead for 2024.

The race is on! Shipping companies across the globe have been hopping onto the ‘sustainability boat’ with the focus on bringing their carbon footprint down. 

Sustainability in shipping 

Hapag-Lloyd welcomed its first liquid natural gas (LNG) fueled vessel into its fleet. The Berlin Express is set to rush in a new era for the company, with other shipping companies watching on. The 23,600 twenty-equivalent unit (TEU) is the first in the company’s Hamburg Express class. 

On the company startup front, sustainability has also been the name of the game. The UK’s ETFuels is blazing a trail in the production of ‘green’ methanol. ETFuels’ unique production model combines large renewable energy farms with “green” fuel production facilities and allows the company to produce “green” fuels sustainably for shipping customers. ETFuels says this model delivers a 91% reduction in emissions compared to heavy fuel oil. 

Shifting market dynamics

The global bank ING says the outlook for the shipping industry is mixed. It adds that capacity is the most important factor to keep an eye on. “Combined with recovered oil demand and longer trade routes, the market remains tight, leading to prolonged higher rates.” 

The pandemic years are behind us now. There is a shift towards the buyer in terms of shipping. “With a mix of demand adjustment (and a mild contraction in 2023), resolved port congestion and a range of newly ordered vessels coming online, elevated spot rates have plummeted as the market power shifts to the buyer side.” 

But the 2023 shipping year has also been about optimizing container services, innovating and assisting role players to do business a bit easier. WiseTech Global acquired MatchBox exchange. This take-over will eliminate time-wasting truck trips. WiseTech may have struck gold by creating a unique platform that facilitates collaboration between shipping and logistics firms. It also avoids transiting through often busy and costly container parks. 

Australia strategic fleet 

This month, the Australian government announced a plan for a national strategic fleet. This initiative will hopefully strengthen the country’s maritime sector. 

Looking ahead for the shipping industry, one modern aspect is making life easier for customers and more efficient for organizations – digitization. This has given customers the chance for greater visibility over their shipments. 

Companies have stepped into the digital era to keep existing customers and secure new ones. The philosophy of shipping easier, faster and offering customer satisfaction is keeping market leaders in the game. Digital in shipping has become a must-have.

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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