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Unprecedented congestion at Ningbo & Shanghai ports

     Port of Shanghai

Ningbo-Zhoushan and Shanghai ports in China are ranked as the world’s top two ports, however, they have been plagued by a series of incidents which have resulted in an unprecedented volume of tankers, bulk carriers and containerships backing up into the East China Sea.

The two ports were affected by a typhoon which ravaged both areas late last month and have also seen productivity decrease as new anti-COVID measures are being introduced to thwart the spread of the Delta variant over the past month.  Since July 20, community-spread infections have been confirmed in approximately half of the provinces in China, most recently at Ningbo’s Meishan terminal.  Most ports in China require a nucleic acid test for all crew, with vessels remaining at anchor until negative results are confirmed.  Additional measures include vessels having to quarantine for 14-28 days if they previously berthed in India or performed a crew change within 14 days of arriving in China.

This congestion has severely affected carrier services, cutting available capacity as vessels sit at anchorage awaiting berths to load and unload cargo.  Carriers have also advised that they are considering a new round of blank sailings from Asia around China’s Golden Week holiday (beginning of October), which will further exacerbate the situation.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

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