China is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantine. There is also a limited supply of reefer plugs in China's ports, resulting in congestion and a lack of availability.
Ocean carriers are continuing to blank sailings between the U.S. and China with MSC announcing a new omission this week. New blank sailings are likely to happen with little notice, Maersk said last week.
"Consequently, most reefer plugs at the yards of all container terminals in Shanghai, Ningbo and Tianjin/Xingang are already being occupied," CMA CGM announced on Fed. 13. "CMA CGM is then forced to divert Reefer cargo to other ports."
Carriers are passing this cost along to customers in new rates and surcharges for reefer cargo.
If shipments are currently stuck at a port in China it could be difficult to determine when it will reach its final destination as this situation is outside the norm for most transportation companies.
Source: Excerpted from Supply Chain Dive
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