Market Update – 28th July 2023

Turkey could soon benefit from a high-speed train track, thanks to backing from UK Export Finance. 

The funding has been set aside to create new electrified tracks and infrastructure, as well as to renovate existing lines between two major cities. It will also replace diesel-powered locomotives and provide a more eco-friendly alternative to congested road routes. 

As well as this, trade within Turkey and also between other countries will be improved and the deal will be used to build relationships with UK exporters. 

The deal does have some detractors though, with critics arguing that the money could be better spent on improving UK infrastructure. 

In other news: 


  • Escalating energy costs are holding back the electrification of European rail freight, which supply chain experts say could force more goods back onto the roads.  
  • Factories in Bangladesh are facing supply chain delays after rail service was suspended on Sunday due to Bangladesh Railway employees refusing to work overtime because of a payment dispute. 
  • A recent report shows that in 2022, total road freight transport in the EU remained at the same level as in 2021, at 1 920 billion tonne-kilometres. Following some instability in the first and second quarters of 2020 due to COVID-related restrictions, in 2021 and 2022, road freight transport not only recovered but also showed an increase compared to years before 2020. 


  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have issued new guidance to help the air cargo industry manage security threats. The guidance focuses on measures around high-risk cargo and screening, including preventive security measures directed at staff members to mitigate the threats posed by insiders. 
  • A decline amongst Asia Pacific airlines this June is being partly attributed to a shift in consumer spending from goods to services. 


  • Yard utilisation levels are below 60% at some container terminals in Northern Europe – just when they should be brimming with peak season imports.   
  • Until recently the mid-size and large containership charter market has been relatively sheltered from the downturn in liner shipping, but a maritime consultancy says it believes a “material decline in charter rates is on the cards”.  
  • Dry bulk rates might be in the doldrums, but they’d be in a whole lot worse state were it not for the sensational amount of coal China has been importing in recent months, with the People’s Republic now on course to import 400m tonnes this year, smashing last year’s total by 100m   
  • Container spot rates from Asia to the US spiked this week, while carriers managed to halt the decline in short-term rates from Asia to North Europe.  
  • The UK government has debuted a shipbuilding credit guarantee scheme in the latest move by the kingdom to bolster its shipyard sector whereby the government will act as a guarantor for lenders, unlocking credit for maritime firms who order in Britain. 
  • In a tumultuous week for shipping out of the Black Sea, shipowners and insurers are taking stock and giving the region a wide berth as both Russia and Ukraine have declared the North-East Black Sea region and the Kerch-Yenikal strait dangerous and prohibited.    

Industry news    

  • After two years of intense negotiations, the European Union (EU) has agreed on the final rules for climate-neutral shipping, with the adoption of the so-called FuelEU Maritime initiative.    
  • A new Seafarers’ Charter launched by the UK government has guaranteed fair wages, proper rest periods, and suitable training for thousands of seafarers.    
  • Real estate stock prices soared today in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but dry bulk owners hoping for a big stimulus announcement from yesterday’s Politburo meeting in Beijing will be disappointed with the range of economic measures outlined.       
  • The Canadian authorities will be investing up to $38m to improve cargo movement at the Port of Argentia.    
  • Mundra Port, India’s top container handler, continues to grapple with cargo backlogs created during cyclone-related supply chain disruption that began last month. 
  • ONE, Cosco and OOCL are challenging their larger European competitors’ dominance in the South America-Europe reefer tradeby launching the joint Latin East-Coast Europe Express (LUX) service. 
  • BIFA has urged its members to be more cautious while acting as ‘indirect representatives’, following an increase in HMRC actions against forwarders failing to pay correct duties.  

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.