Market Update – 13th November 2023

November has seen significant instability in Australia, where there has been a serious cyber-security attack that forced a major ports operator, DP World, to suspend operations at ports in several states.

The measure was taken to safeguard its customers and employees, however there were still high levels of disruption. The breach halted movement at the container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Western Australia’s Fremantle – all the most populous ports for trade in the country and halted 40% of the nation’s maritime freight.

DP World manages almost half of the goods that flow in and out of Australia, meaning the attack will cause delays for days to come. Global eyes are now on the operator to investigate possible data breaches as well as test their systems.

In other news…


  • Representatives from Russia, China and Vietnam convened to explore the enhancement of rail freight connectivity among their nations. There has been a notable decline in container movement by rail along the Hanoi-Moscow axis since 2022.
  • In the UK, the economic prosperity of the midlands is experiencing a substantial positive boost due to influence of freight and logistics. The midlands occupies a pivotal position within the ‘Golden logistics triangle’, generating employment opportunities in automotive industries, food production and import-export enterprises.


  • Prominent players in the US air cargo industry have urged the Department of the Treasury to acknowledge the ‘Argonne GREET’ model. This is to ensure investment certainty and align production with the increasing demand for Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
  • Pilots from Air Transport International, have approved a strike authorisation amid a disagreement over their employment contracts.


  • Following a series of port congestion surchargers this month, South African shippers and forwarders experienced another setback as a direct call at Cape Town was discontinued this week. Carriers are grappling with challenges in maintaining schedules due to prolonged waiting times at the nation’s ports.
  • The inaugural hydrogen-powered vessel, newly constructed, is gearing up to commence operations as a crucial component of a demonstration programme in the Netherlands. This initiative is aimed at advancing the progress of zero-emission shipping.

Industry news

The landscape of e-commerce is undergoing transformations, with a shift in production and origin towards South-east Asia, South and North Africa, India and Bangladesh. Concurrently, China is entering the consumption arena, making overseas purchases.

Several investors have expressed environmental, social and governance concerns over the logistics $10bn collaboration in Saudi Arabia. The futuristic project is said to provide end-to-end supply chain management and investments in transport, logistics assets and infrastructure.

Reduced container volumes from Asian imports into Hamburg contributed to a continued downturn in the performance of its leading stevedore. The company recently announced a 7.1% year-to-date decline in revenue for the first nine months.

Trade volume between Taiwan and the US has notably surged, and there has been an increase in the proportion of Taiwan’s exports directed towards South-east Asia. China is shifting its focus towards Europe.

Looking forward

That’s it for this week’s report, if you have any questions about the stories covered today or need support with your current supply chain, please get in touch.