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Congested Shenzhen terminals cut window for export containers

Photo: Shenzhen Port Shenzhen port (002).jpg
Shenzhen container terminals are feeling the impact of the recent seven-day lockdown even as restrictions were gradually eased at the weekend.

Over the period of the lockdown queues of vessels waiting to berth grew as landside logistics issues resulted from the Covid lockdown in the city of 17 million people. Restrictions are now easing and factory production restarting, however, this puts further pressure on congested terminals.

The three major container terminals -  Shekou, Chiwan and Mawan - in Shenzhen announced that, to maintain smooth operations, they wold only provide services for ETB-4 (estimating time of berthing) days export loaded containers starting from 21 March due to lower container turnover efficiency at the yards.

“We foresee vessel waiting time will increase in Yantian and Chiwan ports,” Maersk said in a customer advisory.

Terminal operators at Shenzhen claimed that they are running normally amid the current Covid outbreak, but the shutdown of local cargo warehouses and more strict requirements on logistics employees health conditions resulted challenges to logistics supply chain. 

Ship lines, such as Maersk, Evergreen, MSC and CMA CGM, have suspended or shut down part of the counter services at Shenzhen and Shanghai, online services are encouraged. 

Maersk said that warehouses in Shenzhen and Yantian were open to accept cargo from 19 March apart from Shenzhen Distribution Centre.

Li Xiaopeng, China’s Minister of Transport said at the latest work conference to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic that, the high-risk areas should strengthen the pandemic prevention and control measures for import cold chain cargos and container cargos and strengthen close-loop managements on high-risk jobs.

As China has battled to maintain its zero-Covid policy in the face omicron outbreaks the shipping industry has feared major disruption of the supply chain as was seen in Yantian last year.