COVID-19: Yantian vessels at risk, says Hapag-Lloyd

Vancouver: Hapag Lloyd Cargo ship near Vancouver, Canada

Hapag-Lloyd expects the latest wave of COVID-19 infections in China to have a large impact on its operations in the region.

Earlier this week, China announced that its third largest city – Shenzhen – would be placed under lockdown until 20 March, sparking congestion concerns.

With this in mind, cross-province trucks must now have a valid 24-hour PCR test result, and there is the potential that truckers might be placed in quarantine after leaving the city. One depot in Shekou (Shenzhen Greating Fortune) has also closed.

“There are approximately 13 vessels that could potentially be impacted at the Port of Yantian,” said Hapag-Lloyd in a statement.

In its most recent update, the German shipping line said there have been two main developments related to trucking and potential operational restrictions. These include:

  • A cargo volume reduction might be expected, probably caused by:
    – Reduced trucking capacity: tests and quarantine requirements hinder driver availability for shipments
    – Raw material transport: currently reduced due to closed factories and limited driver availability
  • Potential operational restrictions have been mostly sighted in the Shenzhen area

Hapag-Lloyd’s main points of concern continue to surround Shenzhen as even though container moves in and out of the port’s terminals remain normal, queues are starting to take shape.

Similar outbreaks in May 2021 resulted in long vessel queues around the Ports of Yantian and Shekou.

The delays led to major shipping lines such as Ocean Network Express (ONE) omitting the ports from its regular services to minimise schedule disruption.

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