Shipping line MSC has suspended all eastbound bookings on the Europe/Middle East and Europe/Far East routes with immediate effect.
It will not accept any new bookings until 9 July because it says all vessels are full due to soaring export volumes of scrap metal and waste paper.
SCM understands that shipping line Maersk has also announced major price increases for July.
MSC pushed up its prices by $500 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) for Asia to Europe routes in mid-June.
One exporter told SCM that he was sceptical that all of the MSC vessels were full, and that it was a way to raise the price of freight, as the shipping lines have been suffering losses on the routes from the Far East to Europe.