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Shipping Emissions are Dropping Ahead of MEPC 80, FedEx Launches Emissions Tracking Platform for Shippers, Factory Activity in China Falls Amid Weakening Demand.

Jun 1, 2023

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Containership speeds at all time low. Containerships are moving at all time low speeds, according to Clarksons Research. Analysis from BIMCO suggests that ships could still go even slower after Q1, during which the average sailing speed slowed to 13.8 knots, down 4% year-on-year. BIMCO suggests that this speed could drop by 10% before 2025. According to Alphaliner data, average speeds went down by about one knot over the entire world box fleet in the last two years. “That does not sound like much, but from a 16.5 knot global average, that is about 6% slower meaning, you need X% more tonnage to carry the same cargo volume,” said Jan Tiedemann, an analyst with Alphaliner.

Shipping emissions are dropping ahead of MEPC 80. The 80th gathering of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is set to begin July 3 at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where the shipping industry is likely to hear about increased sustainability targets. Ahead of the meeting, new analysis from Clarksons Research says that shipping emissions have been dropping, with the latest estimates suggesting that shipping’s emissions on a tank-to-wake basis will contribute 2.1% and 822m tons of global CO2 output in 2023 – down marginally on 2022’s figures of 2.3% and 845m tons as slower speeds impact. Across the period 2009 to 2019, shipping’s CO2 emissions declined by around 14%, according to Splash247.


Members of WPCAP pledge commitment to extend climate action. Leaders of 12 major ports in the World Port Climate Action Program (WPCAP) have agreed to “extend their cooperation with a new focus on shore power, new fuels and green shipping corridors,” according to Splash247. The agreement will see continued work toward faster adoption of shore power at ports, which will help reduce emissions of CO2 and pollutants while ships are at berth. It will also focus on facilitating the bunkering and adoption of cleaner fuels, and enabling the deployment of more low- and zero-carbon vessels along green corridor routes in the coming years.


FedEx launches emissions tracking platform for shippers. FedEx announced this week that it has launched a tool for shippers to “track emissions tied to their packages’ movement throughout the carrier’s network,” according to SupplyChainDive. Available in the U.S. for all packages sent in the company’s Express, Ground and Freight units, FedEx Sustainability Insights will help businesses to better understand their environmental impacts and shipping patterns via their shipments. The platform utilizes package scan data across the FedEx network to estimate carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for both individual package tracking numbers and accounts on, where shippers can run an emissions report by scope, service type, transport mode and other metrics.


CPKC expands Mexico intermodal service with new refrigerated containers. Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railroad is adding 1,000 53-foot refrigerated intermodal containers to expand its Mexico cross-border capacity. This will offer more options to shippers using the company’s recently started Mexico Midwest Express (MMX).


U.S. and EU concerned about cargo concentration in Korean Air – Asiana Airlines merger. The U.S. and the European Union have voiced concerns about Korean Air’s deal to acquire indebted Asiana Airlines reducing competition on certain cargo routes. The U.S. Department of Justice is considering legal action to stop the merger because of concern the “combined airline would dominate routes to the U.S. that they currently compete on for passenger and cargo traffic,” according to reporting by Politico.


Factory activity in China falls amid weakening demand. Factory activity in China decreased faster than expected in May as a result of weakening demand, pressure on policymakers, and lowered Asian financial markets. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to a five-month low of 48.8, down from 49.2 in April and below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction. Read more from Reuters.


Which shipping pallets are more sustainable – wood or plastic? A study from Peerless Research Group showed that 95% of responding companies use wood pallets and about one-third use plastic. Both materials have benefits, but when nine impact categories, including non-renewable energy use, ozone layer depletion, aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity, were taken into account, it was determined that wood pallets had a slight edge on plastic in terms of sustainability, specifically the overall carbon footprint.