5 Container Shipping Trends for 2024

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William Thomas / January 2021

The container shipping industry constantly evolves, with many factors shaping its future. Changing consumer trends, technological advancements, and global economic shifts are some of the critical impacts that shaped the freight forwarding industry. This article summarizes the container moving trends in 2023 and a forecast of the 2024 container shipping trends. Also, you understand why you should work with a reliable container-hauling company.

A Recap of Container Moving in 2023

While the container shipping industry witnessed a significant peak in 2021 and 2022, there was a complete shift in 2023, marked by a profit drop. With many consumers cutting spending on high-value goods, rapid interest rate increases, and shocking inflation that faced the global economy, the container moving in 2023 was highly affected.

The deteriorating market conditions, combined with an increase in stockpiles of empty containers by the end of 2022, drove the shipping industry downhill in 2023. Moreover, sanctions imposed on Russia affected several European ports. Despite a post-pandemic boom in container shipping, decreasing demand and geopolitical uncertainties affected shipping rates. For instance, the cost of moving freight between Asia and Europe or the US in 2023 was more than 80% lower than a year earlier. In addition, low water levels affect traffic through the Panama Canal, the Yangtze River in China, and the Rhine in inland Europe.

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“The deteriorating market conditions, combined with an increase in stockpiles of empty containers by the end of 2022, drove the shipping industry downhill in 2023.”

The 2024 Container Shipping Forecast

2023 was characterized by ups and downs in shipping containers, but will this be the trend in 2024? Here are five container shipping trends to watch out for in 2024:

More Freight Capacity

It is estimated that the global container volume capacity will increase by 4% in 2024 while the ocean fleet will grow by 7.8%, according to the BIMCO, an international shipping association. On the other hand, the air freight forwarding capacity is estimated to increase in 2024.

As a result, there will be increased competition among shipping companies, and customer loyalty may waver, forcing them to tighten their belts to stand out. So, if you are looking for a shipping company in 2024, you should consider one that offers top-quality container shipping services at affordable rates.


Geopolitical tensions and climate change characterized the 2023 container shipping trends. However, in 2024, the main focus in the logistics sector will be sustainability. Many shipping companies prioritize flexibility, agility, and visibility to navigate various supply chain challenges. In addition, companies are exploring new ways of reducing environmental impacts by adopting green energy technologies and optimizing various shipping routes. As such, you should work with a company offering top-tier schedule reliability.

Digitalization to Increase Efficiency

Digitalization or port automation has been a growing trend in container shipping. Increasing visibility and customer demands force several freight forwarders to invest in advanced technological solutions. Also, the need to reduce container ship’s turnaround times and increase efficiency, automated container handling equipment, and other innovations are being implemented. Working with a shipping company that has embraced digitalization will help improve efficiency.

Shifts in Global Trade Dynamics

Global economic conditions, trade agreements, and geopolitical events will impact container moving in 2024. Shifting of transportation routes, geopolitical tensions, and fluctuations in demand will influence container shipping across various regions. As such, you should consider a container shipping company with strategies to navigate different market conditions.

Increased Mergers and Acquisition

Since the pandemic period, there has been a significant increase in mergers and acquisitions in the container shipping industry. This trend is expected to continue in 2024, with many smaller independent shipping companies consolidating to beat up challenging marketing. On the other hand, established freight forwarders will take this opportunity to acquire competitors. If you are in the market for a container moving company in 2024, choose one with established years of experience offering quality services.

Make Sure to Work with a Reliable Container Moving Company

2023 was a year full of opportunities and alarming challenges for container-moving companies. However, while 2024 will present significant challenges, there will be new opportunities due to emerging container shipping trends. As such, you should ensure you work with a reliable container-hauling company that prioritizes sustainability initiatives and digital transformations and understands the importance of supply chain resilience.

Working with an established and experienced wide-load equipment shipping company will ensure your freight reaches you on time and hassle-free, as they know how to navigate various container moving challenges.

William Thomas

William Thomas

Heavy Transport Specialist

Being able to lead a team of such talented logistics agents has been a wonderful experience over the past ten years. If you would like to know anything more about the heavy equipment transport services we offer, don't hesitate to give us a call!