Shanghai holds strong as blank sailing fears continue

China - East Asia, Shanghai, Commercial Dock, Freight Transportation, Distribution Warehouse

The Port of Shanghai has remained operational despite its ongoing lockdown – however continued disruption could lead to an uptick in blank sailings in the Asia-North America West Coast route, according to new analysis.

One of China’s largest cities, Shanghai initially shut down on 28 March, but the Port of Shanghai has remained open throughout, whereas closed manufacturing sites and warehouses as well as a reduction in available trucking capacity caused delays across the supply chain as reported by Ocean Network Express (ONE), CMA CGM, and MSC amongst other companies.

Research and analysis provider Sea-Intelligence has analysed the impact of China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy, comparing blank sailings figures around the port closure of Yantian in 2021 with lockdowns in Shanghai in 2022 as a running 2-week average.

Data demonstrated that the number of blank sailings in 2022 was coming down from an elevated level, whereas in the Yantian case in 2021, blank sailings increased.

“It should however be clearly noted that we could still be in an early phase of the Shanghai lockdown, and if the factory closings persist, it is highly likely that the number of blank sailings will begin to increase in the coming weeks,” warned Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.

© Sea-Intelligence

In a recent customer advisory, A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) announced warehouse operations have partially resumed in Shanghai as COVID-19 cases have begun to fall.

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