Ningbo Port: Business as usual comes to a halt amid COVID-19 outbreak

The transportation of manufactured goods and commodities from the world’s most crucial port has slowed down dramatically after a suspension of trucking services in several parts of East China’s Zhejiang.

There are strict controls on the movement of trucks carrying goods to or from the Beilun district in Ningbo after several Covid-19 cases were reported in the area, informed A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S in a Thursday buyer advisory.

This COVID-induced suspension and restrictions on truckers in some areas in and around Zhejiang, has put a stop on operations at some of the yards and warehouses at Ningbo port.

The curbs began last week after the Beilun district reported an outbreak of Covid-19 which led to the closure of colleges, warehouses, and firms close to the port.

“Any delays at Ningbo come at a bad time for global supply chains, which are suffering from the logjams created by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the situation may get worse, with the Chinese Lunar New Year, as companies cannot stock up their inventories for the upcoming months, forcing them to either look for alternative shipping or products, all of which will feed into higher costs for the consumer,” stated advisor Russell Group Ltd. in an e-mail.

To begin at the end of this month, the holiday’s celebrated in China and different regions of Asia often mean a two-week lull in manufacturing. However, with the situation in hand, a much longer lull can be expected.
With the pandemic heading into the third year, the ports across the globe continue the struggle to ease congestions.

Ningbo which is one of the world’s top container gateways and an essential part of the global supply chain connects factories in East China to customers of automobiles, electronics, and toys within the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere.

Last year in August, a partial shutdown of the port after the COVID outbreak led to a slowdown in exports, disruptions, and congestion throughout the supply lines.

While, China’s extensive lockdowns in response to even small outbreaks have put a stop at the domestic spread of the cases, saved lives, and even permitted firms to proceed to produce and export. It has also led to ripple effects in global chains and taken a tool at the Shipping Industry.

Due to a shortage of raw material via truck and ship out goods, some polyester factories in Ningbo have stopped their work, says, analysts at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Road deliveries of liquefied natural fuel, an important gas for industries unconnected to pipelines, has also slowed.

ENN Energy Holding’s liquefied natural gas terminal on Zhoushan island resumed truck shipments earlier this week and native officers are also permitting extra trucks to pick up fuel from Cnooc Ltd’s terminal at Ningbo port.

However, the total volumes remain far under the 300 to 400 trucks that usually take fuel from the port every day, according to Sun Xuelian, an analyst at advisor JLC.

According to Maersk, close to 10% of trucking capacity within the Ningbo port has recovered, whereas 20% of drivers are estimated to have been permitted by authorities to resume services.

Source: ET

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