Date: 29.04.2021

South East Asia market weekly update and focus

Singapore is a major global freight hub, that is located at the heart of major shipping lanes in Asia and a gateway for Southeast Asia, which is why we value the regional insights and transport intelligence provided by our partners in-country.

Metro recognised Singapore’s pivotal role in regional trade 40 years ago and, with our local partner, it remains an important part of our operating strategy in Asia. A key hub for our air, sea and sea/air solutions, together with a range of value-added supply chain capabilities, Singapore supports our customers trading across Asia’s complex trade and logistics landscape.

Singapore operates the world’s largest container transhipment hub, handling 36.6 million TEUs of containers in 2020, with connections to 600 ports globally, offering shippers 24/7/365 access to daily sailings to every major port in the world.

Singapore has remained open and connected throughout the coronavirus pandemic, allowing local and regional manufacturers to export and tranship goods to the UK and global markets by air, sea and sea/air services.

More than 370,000 TEU destined for the Port of Singapore were delayed in last month’s Suez blockage by the Ever Given grounding, and while 83 bunched vessels carrying 299,310 TEU arrived at the port, their handling was executed efficiently and our partners confirm that they haven’t really seen any impact from the Suez Canal holdup.


Demand for sea freight space from Asia to USA and Europe is still high from all origins and while Intra-Asia demand also remains high it is manageable, as feeder vessels will not be impacted greatly by the Suez Canal Crisis.


Major export origins – China Main Airports (PVG, SZX, CAN, TSN), Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand – are all facing high demand with limited supply, which means that rates to Europe and USA are still at a relatively high level and pre booking is preferred to secure space.


Bangladesh, Cambodia, India are facing an increase in COVID19 cases, but are still due to emerge from lock down within the next few weeks. There is normally a period of calm after emerging from lock down, before production ramps up again, so demand is expected to return in the short-term.

Myanmar update

The situation in Myanmar shows no signs of improving and while most factories are operating, it is not at full capacity. Feeder vessels are still operating, but with reduced schedules, reflecting the lower demand.

Most Middle Eastern airlines have ceased operating to Yangon during this period, but Asian Carriers – CX, SQ, MH, TG – are still flying, as they can operate on a turn around basis without having a change of crew.

We will issue regular updates from our colleagues in South and South East Asia and ensure that market conditions and developments are continually advised. For further information please call Grant Liddell or your usual account contact for the latest daily information.