The Yantian port disruption is yet another challenge to global shipping this year. Shippers are still feeling the strong impact of the Suez Canal blockage earlier this year, however, the Yantian port suspensions are causing further damage to supply chains.
It has been reported that the number of containers unable to move from the South of China due to the suspensions has already surpassed the volume of containers held up in the Suez Canal.
The Yantian west terminal suspension was first imposed from the 24th of May, so we’re already entering our third week of delays with no clear idea on when the terminals will reopen, causing further disruption, increased congestion and more vessel delays. The east terminal, which currently handles the deep-sea container ships, is currently operating at 30% of normal productivity, as dock workers remain quarantined.
All terminals are enforcing strict booking windows for containers, with substantial traffic jams. Many shippers are already beginning to redirect their shipments to avoid the Yantian port, instead moving across Shekou and Nansha, which simply aren’t designed to facilitate such extra flow.
Shippers should not underestimate the significance or magnitude of the delays to follow. To put into context what the congestion really looks like; calculations suggest that approximately 25,500 teu per day have not been handled, where the Suez Canal impacted a daily flow of around 55,000 teu.
There is a huge accumulation of backlogged cargo and we can expect a drastic surge of cargo once the ports operations return to normal. As a result, ripples of congestion will continue on with potential delays of anywhere between two to five weeks.
If you have any concerns regarding your shipments, we strongly advise you speak to your Key Account Manager to discuss options.