Seas are vast and you'll never have enough ships to protect all the ports and convoys you need to. So in this sense, it's plausible that you'll get caught understrength and outnumbered despite a superiority in total ships in a particular sea zone. There can also exist a mismatch in class types which can play into you being outnumbered.
ok I understand for enemy forces it is an estimation, but effectively for our vessels how to be sure that we can engage with maximum forces and not have a surprise to engage wiht some dd's and not our BB or Cl with some BB or cl in front of us
I think normaly we know exactly how many vessels we can engage and wich type