As 2024 opened, supply chain disruptions due to attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and drought conditions in the Panama Canal threatened the rate stability that shippers were hoping for as 2023 ended. Will the attacks in the Red Sea end? Will conflict widen? Understanding the market as the year develops will be crucial. The multipurpose vessel fleet still awaits the long-heralded boost in cargo demand driven by renewables and the drive for energy security, even as fleet development remains modest at best. In contrast, the container shipping market is scheduled to receive a further 2 million TEU of new capacity this year, after 2 million TEU arrived in 2023, and the same is due in 2025. While some of this new capacity will be absorbed by additional transit times around the Cape of Good Hope, the container fleet is expected to grow approximately 6% this year versus 2% growth in port throughput. This increase in container capacity, and thus in competition for breakbulk cargoes, had given shippers reason for rate-related optimism. By April, we will know much more about the effects of re-routing on trade lanes, spot prices and capacity for both sectors — and if and how they are interacting.