Covid-19 restrictions across large parts of China continue to cause delays to both Sea and Air Freight services, with the port city of Guangzhou also now undergoing mass population testing.
Current measures taken to try and contain the recent Covid-19 outbreak are causing significant disruptions throughout the supply chain within China. We have recently informed customers of how the Shanghai lockdown, which has been extended until further notice, is delaying shipping schedules in South China. In the last week Guangzhou has become the latest port city to undergo mass Covid-testing and have travel restrictions imposed, which has in the past been a precursor to the imposition of tougher restrictions under China’s zero-Covid policy.
While the ports remain open, the trucking industry, which plays a critical role in transporting goods from factories to ports, has been particularly affected. Inland bottlenecks are being created by transportation being diverted away from areas with cases. With too little cargo arriving at ports in affected regions, shipping lines are preparing to announce blank sailings from China in the coming weeks.
The situation and level of Covid-19 disruption varies from region to region, below is a summary of the key areas that are currently being impacted.
Regrettably we expect that there will be difficulties with the movement of cargo and sea shipments from China over the coming weeks.
Air Freight Impact
With many areas of China in lockdown, air freight services are being significantly impacted. Air terminals in Shanghai are not receiving cargo due to the suspension of trucking services in the region impeding the delivery of goods from factories to airports. There is also a lack of handling staff at airports to process any cargo that is delivered. As a result, the cancellation of freight flights from Shanghai airports continues with cargo being redirected to airports in other cities. It is anticipated that the lack of people to load shipments combined with the lack of airport trucking will create a backlog that will take some time to clear after the lockdown is lifted.
All of these factors will unfortunately impact customers’ air shipments from China and are likely to incur delays for the coming weeks.