11 June 2021


Disruptions in and around the key southern China container port of Yantian continue to worsen following the partial closure of the port in response to an outbreak of Covid-19 among terminal staff, with carriers announcing significant disruptions to sailings and schedules and warning of delays for upwards of two weeks.

The congestion at southern China’s biggest export container port has resulted in container lines blank sailings or bypassing Yantian and escalating congestion and restrictions at neighbouring Shekou Port in Shenzhen and Nansha Port in Guangzhou. Maersk said that due to the disruptions, ‘64 vessels, including our partners’ vessels, have omitted the Port of Yantian and Shekou to protect schedule reliability.’ The carrier added that ‘due to further measures being implemented, increased congestion and vessel delays upwards of 16 days are expected in Yantian port.’

Drewry ports and terminals analyst Eleanor Hadland said that the disruption in China would eventually spill over and disrupt European and North American markets again, commenting: ‘We’re seeing this contagion spread around the world and there is just a lack of resilience. There is no spare capacity in North America or China to handle this level of disruption.’ Logistics visibility specialist Project44 reminded importers from the US and Europe that they ‘must remain wary of the overall deterioration of maritime trade lanes originating from China and plan their freight operations accordingly.’

Source: Lloyd’s Loading List