Ningbo shippers turn away as exports hit by Covid-restricted trucking

Freight forwarders are moving volumes to congested Shanghai to avoid city-side delays, despite carrier schedules so far unaffected by the latest Covid disruption in Ningbo.

The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan has repeatedly fallen victim to China’s strict restrictions on Covid over the past six months, with the latest lockdown in the Beilun district of Ningbo, which lines three of the port’s container terminals. .

Loading and unloading of containers is functioning normally, but the impact on trucking and port access is severe, according to local freight forwarders.

A contact said The charging star: “Many truckers live in Beilun and there are complicated Covid-19 control policies there, so it is extremely difficult to get containers in or out. “

He added, “Some shipping companies may decide to omit Ningbo, and since there are only three or four weeks left before Chinese New Year, we recommend to ship from alternative ports as soon as possible instead of shipping. queue for Beilun. “

Indeed, while Maersk said The charging star it had no intention of omitting the Beilun terminals from its schedules, the prospect of long delays on the city side also prompted other freight forwarders to recommend relocating volumes from the port.

LCL freight was “seriously affected,” another freight forwarder said, as some consolidation containers were stuck in warehouses until they could be stranded. The forwarder told customers, “For any LCL shipment booked from Ningbo but not yet delivered to us, please cancel the reservation from Ningbo and immediately divert the shipment to Shanghai.”

Westbound Logistics said trucks cannot travel from Ningbo to most neighboring towns, and drivers entering the town are subject to a 14-day quarantine. As a result, he added, many international bookings were being rerouted through other ports, which in turn put additional pressure on those hubs.

Westbound said, “Internal and overland transportation costs are skyrocketing in some areas, typically round trips to and from Shanghai take up to eight extra hours. Availability and rates of ocean freight, both from Ningbo and Shanghai, are likely to be affected. ”

Norman Global Logistics warned that truck capacity could deteriorate despite the introduction of a ‘green pass’ program by the local government, adding:’ While around 20% of drivers get their passes , others are subject to a 14-day quarantine and we anticipate a shortage of truckers. will increase. “

And the freight forwarder warned: “Increased restrictions could lead to production disruptions, including delays in delivery and short-term order fulfillment. With many factories shutting down ahead of the New Years holiday, starting in mid-January, orders may be stuck or unable to ship before the holidays, and carriers may cancel more departures. “

Meanwhile, shippers looking for alternative ports may also experience power issues, according to Woodland Group. He said, “With limited traffic passing through Ningbo terminals, many shippers are looking for alternatives in smaller ports, such as Zhapu, which are not subject to the same restrictions.

“However, many food services are on hold and therefore the capacity to supply is severely limited.”

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