The Asia Market Is Currently Broken, But When Will It End?

The Asia ocean freight market is broken right now, with vessel and container availability at an all-time low. We are experiencing conditions on this trade that we have never witnessed before.

We are frequently asked when the current crisis will end, but in truth there is no definitive or certain answer to this question as we continue to operate in unprecedented times, which means all we can do is give our best prediction based on the current information available.

Following the events of the Suez Canal, schedules were disrupted as vessels were delayed during the time it took to clear the blockage and then many were delayed further by port congestion as they all hit European ports around the same time. This resulted in gaps in schedules and the delay of hundreds of thousands of containers returning to Asia. 

It is important to remember that schedules were already disrupted, and container equipment was in short supply before Suez, due to congestion delays at global ports. Therefore, Suez was effectively the straw that broke the camel's back, rather than the complete cause of the current situation.

So, to our prediction. With delayed vessels arriving back in Asia over the next few weeks, we believe we should see an easing of current market conditions between the middle of June and early July. 

There should be much more capacity and equipment available soon - including a few hundred thousand new containers being added by carriers in the next two to three months. However, we expect demand to be very high following the current period of extremely limited availability, not to mention the 'traditional' peak season period will be approaching.

Therefore, although we expect to see some improvement by mid-June/early-July, we believe the market will still remain very challenging. Of course, these are just our views.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Westbound team.


At Westbound Logistics we pride ourselves in offering personalised and tailored logistics solutions. To find out more please call 01375 800800 oemail