China shipping congestion worsens
Virus case causes partial closure of key container port
The partial closure of the world’s third-busiest container port is worsening congestion at other major Chinese ports, as ships divert away from Ningbo amid uncertainty over how long virus control measures in the city will last.
In nearby Shanghai and in Hong Kong, congestion is once again increasing after dropping due to the reopening of Yantian port in Shenzhen, which shut in May for a separate outbreak. The number of container ships anchored off Xiamen on China’s southeast coast rose to 24 Tuesday from 6 at the start of the month, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Meishan terminal at Ningbo port was shut last week after a dock worker became infected with the delta variant of COVID-19. The terminal accounts for about a quarter of the port’s capacity, and it was still closed Tuesday, according to a worker in the press office, who declined to give their name or any other information.
Local authorities are expected to “re-assess” the resumption of operations at the Meishan terminal on Wednesday, CMA CGM said in an advisory to customers. If a phased re-opening begins this week to tackle the backlog, a full resumption of operations may be possible by the beginning of September, logistics intelligence provider project44 said.
There were no updates on the Wechat account of the provincial government Wednesday morning, and the city propaganda office didn’t answer the phone. Container throughput at Ningbo on Tuesday topped the port’s daily average during the first seven months of the year, the port operator said in a post on its Wechat account, with the daily average throughput remaining at about 90% of July’s level during Aug. 11-Aug. 17.