Shanghai Ports Disrupted by Pandemic



As the strict COVID lockdown in Shanghai continues, nearly a third of goods leaving the Port are held up. The delays are set to intensify a supply chain crisis that has caused shortages and price rises across the world.

According to the Windward’s Maritime AI platform, the number of container vessels waiting outside Chinese ports has grown by 195% since February when Shenzhen experienced a lockdown in March and then Shanghai in April. It's been more than three weeks since the lockdown started in Shanghai.

The trend is ascending. In February there were 260 vessels stuck outside the Chinese ports, but in March and April there were 470, respectively 506 vessels. In conclusion, lockdowns in China have nearly doubled the congestion outside the country’s ports. For example, 1827 container vessels were waiting outside the ports around the world, on 12-13 April 2022. This represents around 20% of all container vessels worldwide.

Describing the global picture, nearly 12% of all goods moving around the world by container are currently stuck on ships that are not moving. The highest-ever rate recorded was 14% in late summer 2021, while the usual rate is less than 6%.

In response, China tries to keep its ports operational during the lockdowns using a closed loop system where the workers live on site. However, the container yards became congested as trucking has been severely impacted by the need for drivers to have a negative test in the last 48 hours. Also, warehouses were closed, and even where factory production has been able to get back up and running there are reports of a shortage of parts.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China asked the Chinese officials to rethink the zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy due to severe disruptions to European supply chains.

The analysts forecast that the strict imposed lockdown in China will have a great impact on trucking services and will increase transport costs.