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Chinese Ports Remain Open Despite COVID-19 Lockdown, But Delays are Increasing
Several provinces in China are enacting wide-scale precautions after the country reported its largest spike in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, creating restrictions for an estimated 45 million Chinese citizens and impacting multiple economic sectors. Currently regional container hubs and ports are remaining open, a distinct contrast to the massive shutdown that occurred last year following a similar rise in COVID cases.
Within the ports themselves, however, congestion has increased sharply and ships have started rerouting in order to avoid container loading delays, a result of essential port workers being relegated to their residences. The average buildup of vessels waiting to dock at the Shenzhen port has quintupled compared to the same time period in 2021, while wait time has quadrupled at the Qingdao port. Meanwhile, charter rates are experiencing serious increases across nearly all global trade routes, with some routes closing in on all-time highs.
Outside of the ports, delays are also rising due to localized logistics hiccups resulting from the COVID restrictions. Trucking is facing particularly significant disruptions due to suspended operations at Chinese warehouses and factories, as well as a heightened driver shortage. As China struggles to contain the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the country’s zero-tolerance approach to COVID may result in further port interruptions and supply chain slowdowns.
If you have any questions or if you would like any additional information on this developing situation, please contact Allyn at email@example.com.
Contributor: Jennifer Nowicki
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