Industry News

Is a new round of “lack of boxes” coming? Asian ports reduce 780,000TEU


"The temporary shortage of boxes in Asia will have a significant impact on the supply chain."

The impact of the Red Sea crisis on the supply chain is gradually expanding. The latest news is that Asia may be facing a shortage of containers.

Judging from the current situation, the Red Sea crisis is difficult to be properly resolved in a short period of time, and ship detours may become the norm for a period of time.

According to industry analysis agency Sea-Intelligence, due to the detour around the Cape of Good Hope, the shipping industry is expected to reduce its effective shipping capacity by 1.45 million to 1.7 million TEU, accounting for 5.1% to 6% of the total global shipping capacity.

The direct impact of this is extended shipping schedules, ship delays, and restricted empty container circulation. In particular, the shipment peak before the Chinese Lunar New Year is coming, and the demand for empty containers in the Asian market is increasing.

It is reported that some liner companies have requested that as many containers as possible be transferred back to Asia from Europe and the United States on subsequent voyages.

Analyst agency Vespucci Maritime said that in recent times, approximately 390,000 TEU containers have been shipped back to the Far East from Europe and the east coast of the United States in full and empty loads every week. This means that the volume of containers arriving at Asian ports before the Chinese New Year will be 780,000 TEU less than before.

As for the possible shortage of containers, Vespucci Maritime believes that the temporary shortage of containers in Asia will have a significant impact on the supply chain.

Regarding this market change, a freight forwarder said: "If there is a shortage of empty boxes, there is no good way. The boxes are first come, first served."

It is understood that liner companies have placed orders with container manufacturers, and the container manufacturers’ orders have been scheduled until March 2024.

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