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Congestion at South China ports worsens on anti-COVID-19 measures By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A cargo ship carrying containers is seen close to the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak, Guangdong province, China Could 17, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Pollard/File Picture/File Picture

By Muyu Xu and Gabriel Crossley

BEIJING (Reuters) – Congestion at container transport ports in southern China is worsening as authorities step up disinfection measures amid a flare-up in COVID-19 instances, inflicting the most important backlog since a minimum of 2019.

Greater than 150 coronavirus instances have been reported in Guangdong province, a key manufacturing and exporting hub in southern China, for the reason that newest wave of instances struck in late Could, triggering native governments to step up prevention and management efforts which have curbed port processing capability.

Ports in Guangdong, together with Yantian, Shekou, Chiwan and Nansha, have issued notices this week suspending vessels from getting into ports with out advance reservations and can solely settle for bookings for export-bound containers inside three to seven days previous to the arrival of vessels.

Main transport firms have warned shoppers of vessel delays, modifications to port name schedules, and the potential for skipping some ports altogether.

Ocean Community Specific (ONE) stated in a discover on Wednesday that Yantian Worldwide Container Terminal continues to function under capability due to COVID-related work restrictions whereas congestion at container terminals at Shekou and Chiwan has surged to over 90% of capability.

The world’s main container line Maersk on Thursday elevated the period of anticipated delays at Yantian to 16 days from 14 days beforehand.

As of Friday, greater than 50 container vessels are ready to dock within the Outer Pearl River Delta, the place the ports are positioned, based on Refinitiv knowledge.

That compares to round 20 vessels in the identical interval final yr and greater than in February 2020 when ports had been paralysed due to China’s preliminary COVID-19 outbreak.

Exporters stated the affect has been restricted to this point, as loading delays and gradual deliveries have hampered logistics chains for the reason that begin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Principally we had the same expertise final yr so we have now expertise in responding, solely the rise in transport prices are getting actually astonishing. The freight charges are mirrored within the enhance in materials prices that are up by round 15%-30% already,” stated a gross sales supervisor at an electronics cable producer in Shenzhen, a big manufacturing metropolis in Guangdong close to Hong Kong.

The gross sales supervisor’s firm needed to pay additional charges to ship merchandise to ports close to Shanghai to fulfill a shopper deadline.

Container freight charges from China to Europe [FREIGHTOS-CN-EU] rose to a document of $11,037 per 40-foot container this week, brought on by provide chain bottlenecks from a surge in client items demand and a few knock-on results from when a container ship blocked the Suez Canal in March.

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