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Montevideo, May 31st 2023 - 00:12 UTC



Covid-19 causing major traffic congestion in China's leading port of Ningbo

Wednesday, August 18th 2021 - 08:24 UTC
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Several Chinese ports are facing serious congestions because many ships have been forced to re-schedule calls at Ningbo, the second busiest port in the country because it remains partially closed down following a case of Covid-19.

To this must be added a much slower pace of loading activities given stricter disinfection tasks in the framework of a zero tolerance zero policy to avoid further contagions.

In effect according to Refinity this Tuesday some fifty container ships were queuing in Ningbo compared to the 28 on 10 August, when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in one of its terminals. Maritime transport companies have warned their clients of delays and route changes because of the situation. Vessels from CMA CGM, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have decided to bypass Ningbo.

According to the most recent stats, the Chinese economy is losing steam because of the coronavirus restrictions and global supply chains are suffering further delays as ship queues grow longer, while there is a shortage of container vessels.

China's Minister of Transport has ordered all its ports to have special teams to check foreign vessels and ensure crewmembers have the necessary health certificates or negative swab testing before they are allowed involvement in docking and cargo activities.

Not only that, some ports have even more strict regulations demanding additional precautions for vessels which in the last three weeks called at ports in high risk countries, such as Russia, Laos, India.

“China's zero tolerance policy is good to combat the pandemic but is bad for the global supply chain”, according to Dawn Tiura from the Sourcing Industry Group, which specializes in logistics in the US West coast.

“...It is a very difficult moment taking into account the return of children to schools and people having to be present at their jobs, plus round the corner is the Christmas season”.

An idea of the caliber of Ningbo, it manages an annual tonnage on average of some 800 million tons and 17 million TEU containers, while Los Angeles tonnage is 200 million and 9,5 million TEU containers.

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