Chinese container shipping ports begin to recover after coronavirus outbreak

Chinese container shipping ports begin to recover after coronavirus outbreak

The largest Chinese container sea ports began to recover after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in the country, reports Reuters. Harbor congestion was caused by labor shortages, as a large number of people were quarantined in isolation.

According to shipping consultancy Alphaliner, more tonnage of container ships are idle worldwide than during the global financial crisis.

Daily charter rates for tankers and bulk cargo have fallen by more than 70% since early January, as China purchases less oil, iron ore and coal, added Tim Huxley, Executive Director of Mandarin Shipping (LR. Hong Kong-based shipping line).

The average waiting time for container ships in Zhoushan, the third largest seaport in the world in terms of cargo turnover, increased from 11 to 17 February to more than 60 hours a week. The volume of cargo delivered to the port of Shanghai from January 14 to February 17 decreased from 1.7 million TEU to 900,000 TEU.

However, cargo handling times are gradually returning to normal as container cranes, customs officers, tugboat pilots and other employees return to their jobs.

– The tipping point has come. We see that port congestion has decreased, and logistics is beginning to recover, ”said Xu Kai, director of the Shanghai Institute of International Shipping.

Sanderson Farms Inc, a US poultry processing company, said operations in Chinese ports are slowly returning to normal. Since the end of last year, the company received orders from China for the supply of 18 million pounds of chicken. Part of this product has already been shipped to China.

China is the largest container handler, Reuters notes. In 2019, China handled about 30% of global traffic, or about 715,000 containers per day.