In March 2022, Chinese authorities imposed another lockdown in Shanghai due to a coronavirus outbreak. The fight to minimize infections is straining supply chains. Port and warehouse operations have been disrupted, and carriers are struggling to deliver goods. In response to frequent route disruptions, logistics companies are closely monitoring announcements of lockdowns in Chinese cities and provinces every day.
According to Wang Qian, Head of the China Container Division at AsstrA, it is not just the Port of Shanghai that is closed because of public health risks. "Ningbo Port is not accepting cargo from Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Ningbo, or Beilun. In Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Wenzhou, new infection cases have just been reported and could prolong the lockdown. Changes to supply routes might be necessary. Coronavirus infection cases were also reported in Jiangsu, Kunshan, Nantong, Taicang, and Hangzhou, which are all located near the port of Shanghai. Arranging transport to Nantong or Hangzhou is forbidden. The ports of Xiamen and Shenzhen are operating normally after long lockdowns in March."
Transport and logistics professionals have grown accustomed to frequent changes in the sector. Instability and rising costs are a routine part of the job. The AsstrA team is keeping a close eye on the situation in China, especially with respect to how long the restrictions at Chinese ports will last.
"Many cities, neighborhoods and streets are closed because of the virus. Even if the Port of Ningbo is operating normally, for example, before organizing a shipment to it we need to check where the customer is based to see if cases have been detected there. If so, the shipment cannot be made. The Port of Shanghai and the city itself are now completely locked down. The highways and stores are not open, construction has been suspended, and it is forbidden to enter or leave the city limits. As a result of frequent supply chain disruptions, AsstrA Shanghai has been emphasizing an agile approach to business and a willingness to adapt quickly," Wang Qian concludes.
Author: Anastasiya Sidelnikova.