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Ship traffic hit by latest covid outbreak in Ningbo

A bout of covid-inspired lockdowns at the world’s largest port is having an impact on vessel traffic, despite Chinese authorities insisting volumes are normal.

A covid outbreak was first detected in Ningbo on Thursday last week, with a district, Daxie, quickly placed in lockdown over the weekend. By Monday, however, the outbreak had spread to Beilun, an area that houses the most amount of terminals at the Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the world’s largest port in overall tonnage terms and third largest when it comes to containers.

The port city has faced repeated lockdowns over the past couple of years, with Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, reaffirming in recent days he has no plans yet to take the brakes off his zero-covid policy.

Trucking green channels and closed-loop management were quickly installed at the port, however delays are being reported, with a significant drop in available truck drivers. Data provided to Splash by maritime analytics firm MarineTraffic (see below) highlights how shipping traffic was especially hard hit on Monday.

“New Covid-19 lockdowns in China might return in 2023,” a new trade outlook from ING warned this week. “Although restrictions have tended to become shorter and more focused, activity will be impacted nonetheless,” the bank warned.

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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