Market update: Growing Covid numbers Asia & China

While Covid-19 cases in Europe have been declining in recent weeks, the situation in Asia has developed in a different direction. A multitude of countries within the continent are showing an explosion of rising covid-19 cases, despite of the strict outbreak-prevention policies which have been put in place in many of the countries. The combination of the renewed outbreak and the strict policies are currently placing millions of people in lockdowns and are halting production in major manufacturing and logistics centers. This is leading to (potential) supply chain disruptions, which are most felt in China, which continuous to enforce its “zero-covid” policy. Following affected areas have been reported:

Shanghai area
Although officials initially denied its effect, the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai is affecting shipping operations around Hangzhou Bay, where the world’s largest container terminal concentration is located. Although port operations in the Shanghai area are still up and running ,there is a major shortage of truck capacity to transport containers inland, resulting in containers piling up in the ports. The EU Chamber of Commerce in China has stated that Shanghai’s container port volumes have fallen by an estimated 40 percent since the start of the lockdown.

Guangzhou area
Ports in the Guangzhou area are currently less effected by the COVID-19 outbreak in surrounding areas. Port operations remain up and running, however the imposed restrictions are limiting throughput of trucks & warehouse operations in the area. Truck drivers are requested to show both health code and negative NAT report within 24 hours for cargo delivery. Potentially slowing down overall port efficiency, as we are still waiting for the immediate effects to become imminent.

Hong Kong area
The Hong Kong area is currently recovering from its peak of covid cases in March. Currently port operations are running on full capacity, however the lockdown has created a backlog which has directly resulted in an increased port congestion.

Singapore / Thailand / Vietnam
South-east Asian ports situated in the countries of Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are running on full capacity. Port operations seem unaffected despite the amount of covid cases are nearly at peak level. Disruptions caused outside of port operations are however still a risk for global supply chains as major industrial areas are directly struck by the renewed outbreak.

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Each monthly update we will highlight the developments within the Ocean freight market including the following topics:

  • Trending topic
  • Space & rate developments
  • Port developments & congestion
  • Freight Indices & Container Availability
  • How to mitigate risks

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