South China ports in crisis as logjam of box ships and containers grows

Ships in harbor waiting to dock

South China’s port congestion has gone from bad to worse – delays at Yantian are spilling over to nearby Shekou and Nansha.

When the bottleneck began over two weeks ago, Hutchison-run Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) blamed out-of-whack shipping schedules for suspending laden export operations.

Since then, however, multiple shipping lines, including Maersk, have blamed Covid-19 for causing the poor port productivity in the Pearl River Delta.

The company said yesterday: “The situation continues to deteriorate as more positive Covid cases have been confirmed in Shenzhen, where Yantian and Shekou ports are located, and in Guangzhou, where Nansha port is located.

“YICT yard density remains elevated with disinfection and quarantine measures being continuously implemented by local authorities.”

Maersk said it was now expecting delays of 14 days, with productivity at berths in the western area of YICT, where mainline vessels call, still only at 30%.

Export container gate-in times have been cut to three days of a vessel’s estimated time of arrival at Shekou, and to seven days at Nansha, the latter seeing heavy traffic congestion resulting in five-hour delays for empty container pick-up and laden container gate-in, says Maersk.

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Source: The Loadstar