The port of Yantian in South China Sea is considered to be one of the biggest ports globally. After a port employee was detected with Covid-19 Alpha variant the overall output of the port fell to 30%. The situation ensued in temporarily blocking ships from entering the port.
Flexport states that recently Yantian Port experienced at least 67 vessels waiting harbouring permission thus resulting in an estimated backlog of 300,000 TEUs. Xinhua emphasized that it will take a number of weeks until the port takes up full operation. The development will definitely impact the port’s operations, which normally handle a million TEUs on a monthly basis.
The recent incident will definitely continue to cause havoc in freight rates from China, affecting seriously special equipment such as reefer plugs in Yantian as well as adding fuel to container shortage. Exports from China are also suffering due to this scenario, and manufacturers are eagerly waiting for empty containers to enter the port for their production exports.
Using alternative ports and changing rotations has mitigated the situation to a certain level. It is estimated that the port of Yantain will see its operations back to normal in a few weeks’ time.
Sources : Xinhua.net, Supplychaindive , Flexport