Increasing congestion in South Chinese ports due to corona

Problems continue to get worse in the ports of South China. Increasing numbers of covid-19 positive infections are being reported in Shenzhen, where the ports of Yantian and Shekou are located, as well as in Guangzhou, where the port of Nansha is located.

Several carriers are expecting delays of 14 days, with productivity at berths in the western area of YICT, where mainline vessels call, still only at 30%.

For export containers, gate-in times have been reduced to three days from a ship’s estimated arrival time in Shekou and to seven days in Nansha. Heavy traffic congestion leads to delays of up to 5 hours for the collection of empty containers and the gate-in of loaded containers.

These traffic congestions cause a shortage of truck capacity. Container pick-ups see delays of 10 hours or more and many carriers need time at night for transport, storage and lifting. This is one of the reasons why costs are rising again.

According to the latest AIS data from MarineTraffic, there are currently 36 vessels with a reported destination of Yantian at anchor, including 33 cargo ships. And with no sign of the situation improving, shipping lines have massively increased the number of Yantian port omissions.

The cargo backlog is growing every day. Once the corona infections subside and the ports return to normal operations, we should expect a large increase in cargo if there are ships available to handle all the cargo. This will lead to congestion at destinations with a delay time of about two to five weeks.