After a turbulent two and a half years, in 2023, a normalization is seen in the shipping industry. It isn’t easy to come by the definition of normalization. However, it can be defined as the predictability of carrier schedules, reasonable rate levels, acceptable port performance where truckers can schedule appointments for pick up, empty returns, and less port congestion. The analysts forecast the following trends for 2023:
A rapid vessels increase will lower freight rates and ease the ships availability problem. The Supply-demand balance will be restored in the coming times. For example, at least 22 large container ships will be delivered this year (MSC, COSCO Shipping, CMA, OOCL, etc.). Moreover, two new players entered the maritime market, i.e., Taiwan and Thailand. Taiwan will launch 46 container ships in the coming years, and Thailand ordered several container ships to be delivered by 2025.
The pandemic has taught business owners to be ready for anything. Retailers are reviewing their shipping operations due to supply-chain difficulties. Businesses should rely on innovative alternatives. The right tool to adjust quickly to any situation is the key to an agile supply chain.
Companies operations should scale based on consumer demand and product availability. Investing in powerful predictive tools such as AI and cloud-based management systems can offer greater control and visibility over the supply chain. Also, B2B platforms, like Eastlink, can be a solution for the shipping industry challenges.
The most important players in the maritime industry act to reach the same decarbonization goals. Thus, MSC has a target to be carbon-neutral by 2050 after reducing CO2 emissions by 65% by 2030. Maersk has similar goals as MSC. Cosco has plans to be carbon-neutral by 2060, in parallel with China. Green shipping will also become more mainstream because that many large enterprises have started to request carbon emissions reports, and some already leverage green shipping as a primary requirement to do any business in the first place.
There are still significant unknowns to be resolved. One of them is whether and when China would lift its Zero-Covid policies. Others include the Russia-Ukraine war and global inflation. Regardless of what happens, experts and analysts predict 2023 to be a better year for shipping services and supply chains.