Maersk: Shortage of Containers in Asia will Worsen in the Next Two Weeks

The largest container shipping group Maersk warned that the shortage of containers in Asia will worsen in the next two weeks, impacting trade activities between oceans and Asia.

According to the latest notice issued by Maersk on April 20, it is predicted that the impact of the closure of the Suez Canal on the schedule and port will continue until May, and the problem of tight transportation capacity will be extended to the third quarter.

That Maersk informed customers that strong freight demand in the Asia-Pacific region may continue throughout the second quarter. “The reliability of scheduling is mainly affected by two factors: first, European cargo routes via the Suez Canal have recently been delayed; second, port processing efficiency has declined, especially on trans-Pacific and European trade routes.”

For the above reasons, Maersk stated that the shortage of empty containers is still a common challenge faced by the Asian industry. It is predicted that this week and next week will have the “most impact” because “empty containers shipped back to Asia have been delayed and the import declaration rate has fallen.” Maersk said. It pointed out that this will affect the ports of Busan in China and South Korea; for example, although its 20-foot container stock is abundant, the 40-foot container is in short supply.

Maersk explained that Shanghai and Ningbo are the regions that mainly supply Europe and are most affected. The company believes that from May 3, the situation should gradually improve, and it predicts that the supply of empty containers is expected to return to normal in the week of May 10.

Regional shortage of cabinets and port congestion issues have also begun to affect trade between Asia. Project44 data shows that about 370,000 20-foot standard containers (TEU) were shipped to Singapore last week. Maersk pointed out that ships outside Singapore must wait 1.5 days before they can anchor.