Maritime congestion is increasing in the world’s largest port

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Those diversions are adding to the new wave of congestion facing China’s ports as an increasing number of cities deal with covid outbreaks. The strict testing of workers and truckers ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of this month is further stressing already strained supply chains as the pandemic heads into its third year.

Ships hoping to keep away from Covid-incited delays in China are scrambling toward Shanghai, causing developing congestion at the world’s greatest holder port. Shipping firms are making the change to stay away from delays at adjacent Ningbo, which suspended a few shipping services close to that port after an outbreak of Covid-19, as indicated by cargo forwarders and specialists. Ships are additionally re-routing to Xiamen in the south, Bloomberg shipping data showed.

Read more: ‘Mother of All’ Shocks Lurks as China Fights Covid: Supply Lines

In the country’s technology hub of Shenzhen in the south, testing of residents and truckers to contain an outbreak means a queue of ships has formed at the port. That’s caused the Shekou terminal to start restricting the acceptance of goods, meaning that from Friday full containers can only be trucked in three days before vessels are due to arrive, the terminal operator said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the northern Chinese city of Tianjin ordered workers to take a half-day break for Covid testing as officials try to contain the omicron variant. Trucking capacity is estimated to be half of normal levels, and drivers are required to be tested daily before entering the port, said Alex Hersham, CEO of digital freight-forwarder Zencargo.

That outbreak has now spread to the port city of Dalian, with two people who traveled there from Tianjin confirmed to have the omicron variant.

The influx of ships into Shanghai has delayed sailing schedules for container ships by about a week, said freight forwarders. Those delays may then ripple outward to already back-logged gateways in U.S. and Europe, they said.

“The port congestion issue will continue to impact restocking cycles this quarter, alongside the Omicron breakout and the impending Chinese New Year closures in China,”said Josh Brazil, vice president of supply chain insights at logistics intelligence firm project44.

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