Nearly 480 container vessels are queuing outside China’s ports to deliver metal ores, grains, and other resources into the country amid the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The strict two-phase lockdown in Shanghai to combat the fast-spreading Omicron variant that started late last month has resulted in a shortage of port workers, which slows down the documentation process to unload ships and a lack of truck drivers to transport goods to and from the ports.
As the congestion builds up, ship-owners have to re-route their ships to other ports to avoid trucking issues and warehouse closures in Shanghai.
Data reported from Bloomberg on April 11 showed that out of the total 477 container ships stranded outside the ports; 222 ships are waiting outside Shanghai, 15% up from the previous month. 134 vessels off Ningbo-Zhoushan, 0.8% higher than a month earlier; and 121 vessels at all three ports of Rizhao, Dongjiakou and Qingdao, an increase of 33% from last month.
The congestion was lower at ports where trucking services suffered less from bottlenecks.
At Tianjin port, 54 ships are waiting to dock, 29% higher than last month. At Dalian port of Liaoning and Tangshan port of Hebei , the shipping lines see a decrease of 36% and 35%, respectively.
The queues of cargo ships waiting to berth have been increasing as China is struggling to stop the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
According to China Daily, mainland China reported 1,272 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 23,387 asymptomatic cases on Monday.