Ningbo-Zhoushan COVID-19 lockdowns quash China’s hopes for normalcy

busy container terminal closeup, brisk trade and economic growth concept

Chinese ports have seen an overall dip in import and export ocean shipment volume over recent weeks following the imposition of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Glenn Koepke, General Manager of Network Collaboration at FourKites, wrote that as of 21 October the 14-day average ocean shipment volume at the Port of Shanghai tracked by FourKites (including import and export shipments) is down 15 per cent since the start of October.

At Shenzhen, volume is down 21 per cent over the same time period.

Ningbo-Zhoushan has taken the largest hit as reports of increasingly stringent lockdowns were reported in October, with volume now down 29 per cent compared to the start of October.

FourKites has also seen the volume of shipments travelling from China to the United States take a dip over the past month as delays continue to climb. As of 21 October the 14-day average shipment volume for shipments travelling on this lane is down 17 per cent compared to the beginning of October.

READ: China ports volumes trend downwards as lockdowns make impact

The 14-day average is down 29 per cent compared to the recent peak seen towards the end of September, Koepke wrote.

Delays continue to climb along this lane, with the 14-day average percentage of shipments delayed for FourKites customers now at 44 per cent, up from 30 per cent seen in March earlier this year.

Transit times for ocean loads traveling from China to the United States continue to climb in recent months.

The 60-day average total transit time for loads travelling along this lane is now at 49.9 days across the entire journey as of 21 October.

This is up 15 per cent from the recent low at the beginning of August, but still remains down 10 per cent compared to the peak seen in March of this year amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year.

While port volume is slowing over the past months, dwell time at Chinese ports does not appear to have been impacted.

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