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Shipment Delays in Shanghai could extend into May

Shipment Delays in Shanghai could extend into May

Ocean carriers and forwarders’ schedule data reveals dozens of blank sailings resulting in cargo owners shipping through Shanghai facing disruption to ocean shipments until at least mid-May.

That comes as officials in Shanghai, home to the world’s busiest container port, extended the Covid-19 lockdowns indefinitely as the number of cases surged to more than 13,000 on Monday, reports IHS Media.

The lockdown in Shanghai’s Puxi district, west of the Huangpu River, was due to be lifted Tuesday, but that was scrapped, as was the easing of restrictions in Pudong last Thursday.

The lockdowns have crippled manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, and haulage services as people are forced to stay home, even as Shanghai’s two main terminals, Yangshan and Waigaoqiao, remain open and operating despite a significant drop in productivity.

The extended curfews have also created severe shortages of food and other essentials.

As of Wednesday morning local time, there were 53 container ships at anchor in Shanghai, according to AISLive, a product within IHS Markit.

Carriers and forwarders said Shanghai will be hit by a raft of blank sailings until May 8, while carriers are also implementing ad hoc port omissions at Shanghai. As of Wednesday morning local time, there were 53 container ships at anchor, according to AISLive, a product within IHS Markit.

“The Shanghai terminals are still operating, but they are badly affected due to the shortage of labour caused by staff quarantining or staying home due to the lockdowns,” “There are quite a number of service cancellations and skipped port calls by carriers.” according to a Hong KIng based 3PL.

The executive at this 3PL further went on to say that  “THE Alliance has cancelled at least 36 sailings at Shanghai, while the Ocean Alliance has cancelled six sailings”.

Highlighting the 2M blank sailings, the source said they will affect at least eight trans-Pacific services, four to the US West Coast and four to the East Coast. They include the TP9 West Coast service for weeks 14 and 15, the TP8 for week 15, the TP1 on weeks 14 to 16 and 18, and the TP3 service for weeks 15 and 19.

The East Coast sailings that have been blanked are T10 on weeks 14 and 16, TP12 for week 16, TP16 for weeks 15 and 17, and TP18 on week 18.

Ocean Network Express confirmed in schedules published in the last few days there would be 38 blank services between April 4 and May 8 on the trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe, Mediterranean, and intra-Asia services.

The blanked services include no PN3 or PS8 services at Shanghai on weeks 16 and 17, the PN4 service on week 17, and the EC1 service in week 17. ONE also confirmed the Interasia Vision operating its Japan-China-Vietnam service will skip its China call at Shanghai near April 5-6.

Other carriers said they are trying to maintain a normal port call schedule at Shanghai.

“We have remained normal without any significant disruptions except for an additional one- or two-day delay in vessel berthing at Shanghai,” an HMM spokesperson told JOC.com.

Danny Hoffmann, managing director of Gold Star Line, the Hong Kong-headquartered intra-Asia affiliate of Zim Integrated Shipping Services, said there were no plans to skip Shanghai. But the carrier is adding more capacity to places less affected by pandemic restrictions, such as Ningbo and Qingdao, he added.

Geodis, the France headquartered forwarder, said the lockdowns have resulted in a lack of labour at ports and terminals, which has further increased congestion and limited capacity at the ports

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