South China Congestion Exceeding Suez Blockage Disruption


Dear Valued Customer,

Please see below update received:

Quickly deteriorating cargo flows through Southern China after congestion has spread beyond pandemic-hit Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) is creating a scale of disruption greater than the six-day blockage of the Suez Canal in March. 

With eastbound trans-Pacific demand outpacing vessel capacity and ocean reliability already below 25 percent on both China-US and China-Europe trades, analysts warn of fast-widening disruption linked to Yantian. 

Loaded export containers are backing up at Yantian as the bottlenecks worsen and spread across South China. It is estimated that Yantian has been unable to handle 357,000 TEU over the past 14 days of disruption. In comparison, the Suez Canal blockage lasted six days and affected 330,000 TEU in total. Another factor is the impact the YICT congestion is having on the other Shenzhen terminals, where productivity is also being limited by COVID-19 measures. 

While YICT is now accepting laden exports, slots are only available for containers within seven days of a vessel’s estimated time of arrival, and only after the terminal confirms the advance reservation made by trucking companies for laden container gate-in. The measures are intended to reduce the traffic and yard congestion, but some warn that it could also exacerbate South China container shortages. 

Worldwide, space continues to be in short supply. The slow turnaround of vessels at destination ports is the main culprit creating issues with shipping schedules. This is resulting in more blank sailings at a time when the global supply chain needs more sailings, not fewer.

Keeping You Informed!

Customer Solutions Team


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