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Reefer cargo diverted from Dalian as city-wide COVID-19 testing rolls on

Aerial view of shipping containers, cranes and storage tanks in dalian,china.
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Shipping line Hapag-Lloyd is calling on customers to divert reefer containers away from the Chinese port of Dalian following a COVID-19 outbreak in the city.

In a 21 November customer advisory, the German container carrier noted that there is a restriction concerning frozen meat and seafood products bound to the port.

Hapag-Lloyd wrote that customers should divert containers to Qingdao, Tianjin, or other ports in China subject to necessary import licenses.

“Please note that for all options, all additional costs, risks and liabilities related to the storage or movement of the cargo after discharge will be for the account of the cargo owner,” the company wrote.

“Therefore, we kindly ask you to provide us with a written confirmation of your preferred choice for taking delivery of the cargo at your earliest convenience to initiate the necessary arrangements.”

Dalian is the latest Chinese city to experience a surge in cases following an outbreak in mid-October – however city officials argue that all confirmed cases have been quarantined to reduce the spread.

The port city of Dalian, with a population of 7.4 million, is crucial for cold-chain imports into the country. Some 70% of national cold supply chain imports are handled through Dalian.

Health officials have now boosted testing capacity to 800,000 samples every 24 hours to stem the increase in cases.

Supply chains throughout the pandemic have been rocked by repeated outbreaks in major logistics hubs in China and Far East Asia.

In June the Port of Yantian, one of the largest container hubs in the world, was forced to partially close operations following a COVID-19 outbreak in the area – causing experts to lament “massive headaches across the global economy.”

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