Yantian International Container Terminals’ (YICT) west port area, previously closed by a COVID-19 outbreak in late May, restarted limited operations on Thursday. The reopening is easing pressure on the terminal, but doing little to address the congestion that has spread from the Port of Shenzhen across South China over the past two weeks.
Shippers can now pick up import laden containers stored in the west port area with valid equipment interchange receipt (EIR) documents. However, the YICT spokesperson gave no timeline as to when the YICT west port area would be fully operational, saying it had been reopened on the premise of strict COVID-19 prevention - thus suggesting the terminal could be closed again if there were another outbreak.
YICT’s east port, used by most international carriers, has been operating at about 30 percent capacity with port workers quarantined or working in smaller groups since the May outbreak. Yantian is a vital transport link in the ocean supply chain, handling mainly exports to Europe and the US from Shenzhen, a technology and manufacturing hub.
Yantian is beginning to recover, in terms of export operations, albeit very slowly. In addition to the bottlenecks in South China, the YICT closure has also directly impacted road operations and caused trucking rates to soar. The space constraints extend to rail and air cargo, both modes that have limited capacity that has been filled through months of heavy demand.
Container Shortage Worsens as Box Ships Avoid Chinese Ports That Need Empties
The availability of containers at southern Chinese ports continues to deteriorate as carriers omit calls due to a wave of COVID outbreaks in Guangzhou province.
According to the latest data, the ports of Yantian, Shekou and Nansha have been hit worst by the box shortages. Unfortunately, fewer empty boxes are arriving back to southern China as container lines skip calls at severely congested ports, and many shippers will face long delays or higher prices for equipment if they can’t avoid using the affected ports.
Many carriers are blanking sailings in order to preserve schedule reliability, but the port omissions mean urgently required empty equipment onboard the diverted ships will not be discharged to replenish dwindling stocks at depots. See BR International’s updated equipment shortages at Chinese ports below;
Tianjin: All shipping lines are in tight supply of 40HQ. CMA is the worst.
Qingdao: CMA is lacking 20GP/40HQ/45HQ. HMM/HPL/SML/MSC is lacking 40HQ. COSCO is lacking 20GP/40HQ.
Shanghai: CMA/EMC/ZIM lack 40HQ/40GP. COSCO is releasing equipment vessel by vessel. HPL/SML/ONE lack 40HQ.
Ningbo: EMC lack of 20GP/40GP/40HQ. COSCO/CMA/HPL/ZIM/ONE lack of 40GP/40HQ.
Yantian: Export empty pick up at Yantian retains normal operations with the exception of Greeting Fortune Depot. 40GP and 40HQ empty supply has been negatively by the vessel delays, and customers are encouraged to cross pick up at Chiwan or amend to 20GP as an alternative in Yantian.
Wuhan: COSCO/ZIM/HMM lack of 40GP/40HQ.
Wuhu: All carriers are in shortage of 40HQ equipment.
South East Asia:
Thailand: Most of all carrier are in short supply of 40HQ equipment. CMA is seeing a serious shortage of 40GP/40HQ. MSC’s equipment supply is a bit better.
Vietnam: Most of all carriers are in short supply of 40HQ equipment. At this moment, MSC’s equipment supply is better than others.
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