This edition is the 200th that it has been my pleasure of producing Shipping Today & Yesterday and I have certainly witnessed some considerable changes in the Maritime Industry during that time.

Hardly a day goes by without mention of the Government’s net zero target, impossibly scheduled for 2050.

In the shipping industry, the decarbonisation target of the International Maritime Organization has set a target to at least halve shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In the container ship sector, the current situation shows how difficult such targets will be to achieve. In June 2023 approximately 97% of the active fleet, when measured by TEU capacity, had main engines powered by bunker fuel derived from crude oil.


Also 40% of the current order book is for container ships intended to be sailed solely by conventional marine fuel.

However, there is a commitment to buying more fuel efficient and less polluting ships to replace the dirtier units that have been the usual vessels of the past few decades.

Around 85% of the current container fleet, owned by the ten leading operators, have agreed to net zero targets by 2050, while the Chinese container lines are targeting net zero by 2060. One carrier, the Taiwanese operator Yang Ming, have not committed to any date but support the ideal of eventually reaching net zero.

I can’t help feeling that commendable as such pledges are, they will prove very difficult to implement in this time frame.


Finally, I would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas.


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