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COVID-19 makes blank sailings jump and TEU crash

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The COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic has made TEU traffic fall by 23% on Asian shipping lanes since the start of 2020, according to Ocean Insights.

In a statement, Ocean Insights also said global TEU traffic had fallen by 7% in the same time period, from a high of approximately 16.8 million TEU in mid-January to 15.5 million by mid-March.

Additionally, Ocean Insights predicted that there will be 386 ‘blank sailings’, the term for when a carrier skips or cancels a port call, between mid-March and the end of April 2020.

The pandemic has caused substantial congestion in many of the world’s key ports and trade hubs since its initial outbreak in late-2019.

The effect has been such that China, the world’s most powerful maritime nation with many of the world’s biggest ports, was in critical danger of being cut off from the world’s economy.

Port Technology International (PTI) explored this in an exclusive insight on COVID-19’s impact on the global supply chain. This followed on from a previous insight into its effect on ports and shipping.

How fast the industry recovers will depend on how quickly it can keep up with China, which has started to see factories returning to normal operations and exports pick up.

What does a national lockdown mean for ports?

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