Lockdowns across China are spooking global supply chains again. The 17.5m population of Shenzhen, a vital export centre in the south of the country, has been placed into a week-long lockdown, as has the province of Jilin in the north, while Shanghai has placed some new measures on its citizens.
Shenzhen, which caused supply chain chaos last year with a Covid outbreak near its main port of Yantian, announced on Sunday a citywide seven-day lockdown as coranavirus cases spike in China to levels not seen since the illness was first detected in Wuhan more than two years ago. Every citizen in Shenzhen will undergo three Covid tests this week while all manufacturing and commercial activities have stopped in the city, one of the world’s most important exporting powerhouses.
Splash has contacted relevant port authorities as well as terminal operators and local shipper associations to gauge how severe the impact of the lockdowns will be.
Currently, operations at DaChan Bay Terminals remain normal according to a spokesperson, as there have been special arrangements made for frontline staff.
A client advisory from SEKO Logistics yesterday said that Yantian Free Trade Zone will be closed from March 14 through to March 20. The company said all vessels already loaded and departing Yantian Port this week will depart as planned, however, no cargo will be able to load from next week and vessels will most likely omit the port.
Truck drivers entering Shenzhen are now required to hold negative Covid-19 test results within 24 hours, and get tested again upon arrival at the port. The city’s ports are setting quotas on how many vehicles can enter each day, and operate based on a reservation system.
The last time Shenzhen suffered a similar outbreak, throughput at the world’s third largest container port fell by approximately three-quarters.
Commenting via LinkedIn, Bjorn Vang Jensen, vice president at liner consultancy Sea-Intelligence, warned any closure followed by a reopening at Shenzhen port will create a whiplash effect and lay waste to the progress being made in the US to clear port backlogs.
In Jilin province, meanwhile, reports are emerging on a lockdown across the entire province while in Shanghai, there is a partial lockdown with residents barred from leaving the city unless it is absolutely necessary.
South of Shenzhen, Hong Kong is also suffering, with the city having some of the worst Covid statistics in the world with about 300,000 patients and their close contacts now under quarantine.