A few weeks into a very substantial port congestion in Yantian caused by a Covid-19 outbreak, supply chain disruptions continue to be very present in global trade.
After a six-day stop on export containers, the Yantian Port Authorities have announced that productivity is gradually set to increase as more workers return and more berths reopen, but the damage has already been done. The current estimated wait is over a fortnight, causing many carriers to divert vessels to other ports. In total, over 300 sailings from all liners will omit Yantian and for Maersk, 19 of our mainline services have been affected.
Fighting to get reliability back into operations and services back on schedule after the Suez incident in March, the port congestion in Yantian, with neighbouring ports Shekou and Nansha also affected, is an added pain at a time where global supply chains are already stretched.
The new normal
The trend is worrying, and unceasing congestion is becoming a global problem. Due to Covid-19 and a significant volume push since the end of last year, terminals are becoming global bottlenecks, be it at berths, yards or gating out cargo, and it’s continuing throughout the logistics chain – in the warehouses, the distribution centres – with numbers on the rise.
The most prominent bottleneck right now is Yantian given the sheer size of it, with it being the third largest terminal in the world, but still there are many other ports where a one- or two-day wait is becoming the norm, even if arriving on time.