Shipping costs skyrocket amid COVID-19 outbreaks in Guangdong
The Yantian container terminal in Shenzhen, southern China’s Guangdong province, in April. Photo: cnsphoto
The COVID-19 outbreaks in the Yantian Port area of Shenzhen, southern China’s Guangdong Province, prompted the main port to slow down operations by suspending the acceptance of heavy export containers for several days.
At the time of publication, 13 asymptomatic carriers have been found in Shenzhen. According to a local official statement released on Friday, the Yantian District in Shenzhen urged all citizens to get tested for COVID-19.
In addition to Yantian, Guangzhou and Foshan in the province have also reported new cases of COVID-19, causing disruption not only to port operations, but also to freight transportation. While the cases in Guangzhou and Foshan were linked to a dim sum restaurant, the cases in Yantian were linked to a foreign vessel in the port area.
Following the new cases of COVID-19, the Port of Yantian said it will stop accepting heavy containers awaiting export from Tuesday. Under the new requirements, the port would only accept heavy export containers with an estimated arrival time within three days, and this condition will last until June 6.
Li Guoliang, a driver at the port, told the Global Times that he finally declared a heavy container for export at Yantian Port and would enter the port at midnight.
Li said his container will be among the first lots entering the port after the temporary suspension.
“I did not work last week and my daily loss is at least 500 yuan [$78.5]Li told the Global Times on Sunday.
Yantian Port, known as the “Shenzhen Foreign Trade Barometer”, has the most extensive international routes in southern China. Mainly handling exports to Europe and the United States, the port typically handles nearly 90 percent of Shenzhen’s exports via around 100 routes, according to the Securities Times newspaper.
Emerging cases in Guangdong have also had an impact on freight transport in other parts of the country.
Guo Xin, general manager of Nanning Xinjinhang Logistics Co in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and expert in transporting fresh fruit, told the Global Times on Sunday that the cost of road freight increased tenfold. the last days.
The sudden outbreaks in Guangdong mean truck drivers going there must be quarantined on their return. “As a result, freight rates have increased,” Guo said.
Shipping agencies are also worried about the disruptions. Besides the impact on port operations, the main problem is that there is “abundant export cargo and a lack of containers,” said a staff member of logistics company JC Trans.
Many containers that went overseas did not return due to customs clearance delays by foreign customs, according to an employee of the Shenzhen-based Shenghang Logistics Co.
This problem persisted last year and eased early this year, the employee said, but the blockage of the Suez Canal then affected container shipping around the world.
Along with the coronavirus, the lack of containers drove up shipping costs.
“The price for a heavy container going to Europe was around $ 3,000, but it’s now $ 13,000,” the employee said, and the price for containers going to South Asia. Is doubled.