Yantian's backlog spreads epidemically
After a detected Covid-19 outbreak amongst port workers on 25 May, the median dwell time at Yantian Port (China) has risen to 18 days since the first week in June, according to the Chicago IL (USA)-based maritime analyst Project 44.
The pandemic continues to spread as authorities in Guangzhou, the industrial city northwest of Shenzhen, have also imposed restrictions on business activities. Nansha Port, one of Guangzhou’s fastest-growing terminals, is also feeling the impact of these restrictions. Port congestion in the South China Sea is severe. With roughly 32% of all vessels approaching Yantian already subject to delays, congestion is expected to worsen over the next few weeks. Several container lines have announced that they are rerouting their vessels away from the Shenzhen port cluster to preserve schedule reliability.
“The delays have already resulted in pressurizing soaring shipping prices within China due to a lack of containers and increased export demand,” said Josh Brazil, vice-president of marketing at Project 44. Last year, freight costs between China and the US west coast rose by some 156%, while the China to US east coast trade lane saw an increase of 162%. Freight prices between China and North Europe noted the biggest rise - an increase of over the factor five. (cd)