Shipping delays

The latest shipping update from around the globe.

Sarah Woodrow

October 20, 2021

Port operations have started to get back to normal in Shenzhen and Hong Kong after the tropical storms passing. The total containership count off the two vital hubs has ballooned to 271, this is the highest count recorded since the tracking started in April. Figures from last week also showed that 109 ships were anchored waiting to enter the ports.

The global supply chain has seen massive disruptions which are set to continue for the foreseeable future. U.S. President Joe Biden announced in October that the Port of Los Angeles will now operate 24 hours a day to help smooth out kinks. PSA will continue to ensure the adequate deployment of resources,” the terminal operator said in an emailed statement. They are working with shipping line customers to help them catch up on their delayed schedules and will help them to meet their cargo connections.

The delays have been caused from the overcrowding of shipyards full of containers. The workforce that was hit hard by the pandemic and the supply side with lockdown ports in China and elsewhere have contributed to the shortages.  


It has recently been announced that nine large companies have signed up to a pledge to only move cargo on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040. The 9 companies are..

  • Amazon
  • Brooks Running
  • Frog Bikes
  • Ikea
  • Inditex (owner of Zara)
  • Michelin
  • Patagonia
  • Tchibo
  • Unilever

With 90% of world trade moving by sea, shipping accounts for 3% of all global emissions which is set to rise to 10% by 2050 if the industry carries on without making any changes.

There are suggestions that it will take over £1.45 trn of investment to get the shipping industry to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. Cleaner fuels will be needed alongside designs for new ships. Maersk have just ordered eight new vessels with run on carbon-neutral methanol rather than oil based fuel at a cost of $175m each and with delivery not for a few years the industry will have to move quickly to achieve this goal set. 

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