Coronavirus impact on China port operations

February 3, 2020 3:21 pm

While airlines have slashed services to and from China, for up to two months after CNY holidays, ports have continued operating and shipping lines have held back canceling sailings, despite the Coronavirus spread widening.

In a bid to reduce the virus spread, Chinese authorities announced CNY holiday extensions of three days, through Sunday, for most of the country, and up to the 9th February for the areas hardest hit by the virus including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Xiamen, and Qingdao.

This extension means that operations at the ports will be affected at least a week longer than usual, with Wuhan operations being suspended until further notice.

While massive disruption to shipping schedules in not currently planned, that could change with shipping lines building in depressed volumes and blank sailings for February and into early March.

With the growing potential for containers to be stranded at China ports, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has raised concerns that carriers may charge detention and demurrage fees for delayed boxes, out of the control of forwarders.

Our advice to shippers and customers is to review orders expected to be available for shipping during February and March and share the information with us, particularly for any urgent cargoes, at the earliest opportunity.

When factories open, after their extended closure, the demand for freight space is likely to peak demand with space shortage.

If appropriate, we can find alternative shipping methods, routes and even modes. As always, our team are on hand to support and will be in touch with clients should delays affect specific shipments.

CORONAVIRUS PORT STATUS*

Hong Kong
Operating as normal
No impact on Unsworth services

Shanghai
3rd to 9th February essential operations; from 10th February: normal operation resumed
No impact on Unsworth services

Ningbo
3rd to 9th February essential operations; from 10th February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings announced on the second week of February
No impact on Unsworth services

Qingdao
3rd to 9th February essential operations; from 10th February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Tianjin
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailing announced by COSCO for 10th February

Dalian
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Fuzhou
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Xiamen
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised
Blank sailing announced by COSCO/CMA for 2nd week in February

*Note this is based on the situation as at 030220 and is subject to change.

Trucking operations are continuing in most areas, with limited capacity, but operations are subject to substantial road closures in many regions.

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