Greater ChinaShipyards

Ship repair queues grow thanks to Chinese lockdowns

While the force majeures announced at multiple shipbuilding yards in the wake of China’s series of lockdowns have been widely reported, the effects of Beijing’s zero-Covid policy in the domain of ship repair is only recently coming to light.

Shipowners are trying to avoid the People’s Republic to carry out essential upgrades, repairs and drydockings leading to other yards around the world getting substantial backlogs.

Brokers at Intermodal report that ship repair yards in Europe, Mediterranean and Black Sea are fully booked into Q3 while yards in the Middle East and across Asia are also taking in more business on the back of China locking down.

Another issue owners face are soaring costs thanks in no small part to the increased steel prices this year. Certain already agreed repair and conversion contracts with lower prices have become invalid, Intermodal reported in its most recent weekly report.

The back up in repair activity comes as regulations kick in requiring owners fit all sorts of equipment soon in order to control ballast water and emissions.

In China, the ship repair yards are reporting massive delays with manpower shortages and difficulties in getting spare parts delivered.

Some ships have been forced to stay in yard far longer than expected. What life has been like onboard for those who have found themselves unexpectedly stranded at Chinese repair yards this month has been made into a YouTube documentary below.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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