Chartering giant Cargill has warned that shipping’s emissions are rising again as sectors such as containerships and bulkers prosper. With so many cargo orders on the books, the boxship fleet is speeding up and consuming more bunkers, warned Cargill’s president of ocean transportation, Jan Dieleman.

“Global trade is growing and that means emissions will come up from transport,” he told Bloomberg. “[The] container fleet is speeding up, so emissions from that sector are going to be up, not down.”

At any one time, Cargill is chartering more than 600 ships. Dieleman said Western ports are facing congestion due to Covid-19-related worker shortages. He added that this is delaying the loading and unloading of containers, creating a shortage, and forcing some companies to resort to shipping in bulk what they would normally “stuff into containers“.

As for shipping’s decarbonization efforts through the International Maritime Organization, Dieleman said: “To some extent, it would be great if it’s all regulated globally.” But he added that this will not proceed quickly enough.

Dieleman said he cannot see why “certain jurisdictions” such as the European Union should not be allowed to pursue their own decarbonization measures more aggressively. He also said there could be a crunch in bulker capacity in future years, with little ordering of new ships seen in the sector.

He said questions of future technology and finance are holding owners back. “If you take a little bit of growth in global trade going forward and the number of ships coming to the water, you have a pretty constructive picture,” he said.