International freight news – March 2023

Find out the latest news on international freight: sea, air and road freight with Marglory
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Sea freight: delivery times improve from China

The latest shipping index published by the SaaS connected supply chain platform E2open reports a reduction in transit times.

Sea freight: delivery times improve from China
Source : Actu Transport Logistique

Since 1 January, it has taken an average of 63 days for a company to hand over its goods to road or rail hauliers after they have been transported by sea. This is 8 days less than in the same quarter last year.

A fall in demand 

Another trend observed in this index is a drop in demand for goods from Asia, whose ports are currently less congested. “The significant drop in demand for goods shipped from Asia has resulted in a reduction in transit times. Delivery times from the order to the final port for these shipments have fallen by 8 days compared with 2021”, says the index.

Exports from Asia to North America and Europe have also seen their transoceanic journeys fall. By 9 and 8 days respectively compared with the previous three months, and by 12 days compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Morocco-Africa: record trade in 2022

Trade between Morocco and the African continent has grown remarkably in recent years. Reaching 65 billion dirhams by 2022. We take a look at the type of products traded and the main partner countries.

Morocco – Africa: record trade in 2022
Source : le 360

Between 2001 and 2021, trade between Morocco and the rest of the world more than quadrupled. From an annual average of 10 billion dirhams to almost 46 billion dirhams.

Foreign Exchange Office statistics

Furthermore, according to the latest statistics from the Office des Changes (Foreign Exchange Office), which were drawn up to the end of 2021. Morocco’s imports to African countries show the significant weight of purchases of energy and food products. Imports of petroleum gas and other hydrocarbons top the list (25.3%). This is followed by coal (coal and coke) with a share of 5.3%. Next come imports of dates (5.1%), plastics (4.2%) and soya oil (4.1%).

On the other hand, Morocco’s exports to Africa consist mainly of natural and chemical fertilisers (25.4%). Prepared and preserved fish and shellfish (8.6%). Raw and refined sugar (5.9%), fresh, salted, dried or smoked fish (5.1%), wires, cables. And other insulated conductors for electricity (4%) and passenger cars (3.6%).

However, in terms of partner countries, Egypt was the main exporter to Morocco in 2021. Followed by Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa and Togo.

On the other hand, Côte d’Ivoire is the leading importer of Moroccan products. Followed by Senegal, Mauritania, Djibouti and Tunisia.

CMA CGM unveils outline of rescue plan for La Méridionale

A week after the information leaked, CMA CGM confirmed on 14 February 2023 that it was in “exclusive talks” with the management of Breton refrigeration group Stef to buy La Méridionale.

CMA CGM unveils the broad outlines of the rescue plan for La Méridionale
Source : Actu Logistique Transport


On 14 February 2023, the exclusive agreement with Stef to take over the shipping subsidiary La Méridionale became official news. The four white and blue cargo liners will indeed be changing hands. In addition to the 600 employees, 490 of whom will be captains, the purchase price will be undisclosed at this stage.

The French company, which specialises in regular containerised shipping services, says it will use its expertise to develop a “French maritime industry of excellence from Marseille and Corsica” and continue the international diversification begun in 2020 in the Mediterranean.

Investments announced in the fleet

CMA CGM has announced its intention to develop commercial synergies and complementarities in the RORO market, while preserving the jobs of French seafarers on board its vessels. It will also invest in the shipping line’s fleet and energy transition”, adds the press release.

An interim management team has been set up at La Méridionale with the arrival of Guillaume de Feydeau. Will he bring the Poseidon plan back to life? Indeed, nine years ago he was commissioned to steer SNCM through the storm as best he could by organising 400 departures.

First of all, the future shareholder should start by absorbing the losses, estimated by our sources at €32 million, and with “the help of a dedicated management team based in Marseille (…) preserve the identity of La Méridionale and strengthen the quality of service for customers on the Corsica and Morocco routes, while respecting the spirit of passenger service that has made La Méridionale such a success”.

Logistics: Top 14 African countries in the Emerging Markets Logistics Index

Agility and Transport Intelligence have published the Emerging markets logistics index 2023 report. The report ranks the world’s top 50 emerging countries according to the development of their logistics sectors. Fourteen African countries improved their ranking, with Morocco coming out on top for the African continent. 

Top 14 African countries in the Emerging Markets Logistics Index
Source : Maritime news

Leading supply chain services provider Agility Group and Transport Intelligence have published the 14th edition of the Agility emerging markets logistics index 2023. This edition assesses the global logistics competitiveness of emerging markets.

Basic ranking criteria 

First of all, this ranking, carried out each year by Agility, is based on four fundamental criteria. Each criterion is made up of sub-criteria: internal logistics assets (size and growth of the logistics market, GDP, economic growth, population, income, urbanisation, etc.). But also external logistics assets (size and growth of international logistics markets, logistics-intensive trade, quality of infrastructure, connectivity, cost and time of border procedures), the business climate (environmental regulations, credit rating, price stability, cost of crime and violence, market accessibility, etc.). And the degree of digital readiness (energy mix, entrepreneurial risk, digital skills and human capital, digital business models and e-commerce, etc.).

African ranking

On the African continent, several countries have moved up the rankings. This is due to the global economic slowdown and the adoption of digital technology, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That said, Morocco retained its 20th place in the world rankings and remains No. 1 in Africa, with a score of 5.08, compared with 4.65 the previous year. The kingdom also consolidated its position in the “Business Fundamentals” category. This is thanks to the openness, robustness and fairness of the business climate. This is achieved through criteria such as the regulatory environment, the framework for applying contracts, domestic stability, the level of inflation, market accessibility, etc. In terms of this criterion, Morocco scored 6.45/10, well above the other African countries. The same applies to the international logistics criterion. Morocco scored 5.09, thanks in particular to its port infrastructure.