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There’s always something happening in the container market

There’s always something happening in the container market

We have been inundated with news and facts in the last few months of the year. One shipping company after another publishes its results. We hear daily how sustainable transport is gaining an ever greater foothold in the logistics market. And, finally, the announcements of the first new surcharges as of January 2024 have blown through the door. High time for an update on an always vibrant container market.



Shipping results 2023

Reports from shipping companies with disappointing financial results have been pouring in recent weeks. Should we be surprised? No, not really; as a shipper, you will agree. It makes sense that the “golden” COVID years would not last forever.


Having said that, if we review the recently published figures, the decline is disproportionate. A number of shipping companies are actually losing more than half of their sales compared to the first quarter of this year. And despite the fact that some shipping companies have actually transported more in the last two quarters than they did six months earlier, they still retain significantly less profit.



Sustainable transportation at the top of the agenda

Declining rates, excess space and capacity, and the excruciatingly slow pace of recovery in the consumer market indicate that the market is still far from balanced. Is the dwindling supply of cargo the only concern of shipping companies right now? Unfortunately, no. Another major issue is lurking around the corner. The theme of ‘sustainable transport‘ is becoming increasingly important and investments can no longer be postponed.


The Climate Agreement does not lie. We must ensure that all transport is climate-neutral by 2050. An ambitious goal requiring many investments. We can’t and shouldn’t wait any longer to make it happen. As freight forwarders and shippers, we will all notice this in our wallet. Every link within the logistics industry will have to contribute so that we can achieve the goal together.



New surcharges 2024

Last month we already wrote an article on the new ETS tax. The costs involved in joining the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) on 1 January will require both you and us to pay shipping companies (in part) for each transport carried out. The proceeds of these costs are used for investments in more sustainable transportation for the future. We are currently collecting the announcements concerning this surcharge from the different shipping companies. As soon as we have completed this, we will, of course, share the results with you.


In an unexpected announcement, Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam published a new surcharge effective 1 January 2024. It is similar to RWG terminal’s current time-based surcharge during peak hours, but supplemented by a climate charge. In this way, they want to contribute to climate goals while achieving a better distribution of road transport.



Please keep an eye on our website for the latest developments regarding the above surcharges.



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