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Covid-restricted trucking hits exports from China port

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Forwarders are shifting volumes to Shanghai to avoid delays, following the latest covid lockdown at the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port.

The latest disruption is in Ningbo’s Beilun district, which borders three of the port’s container terminals.

Container loading and discharge is operating normally, but the impact on trucking and access to the port is severe, according to local forwarders.

In August last year, A key terminal at the Ningbo-Zhoushan port closed for eight days after a worker contracted COVID-19 and Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport shut down its cargo zone after five workers tested positive.

About the current delays, one contact told The Loadstar: “Many truckers live in Beilun and there are complicated Covid-19 control policies there, so it’s extremely difficult to bring containers in or out.”

“Some shipping lines may decide to omit Ningbo and, as there is only three or four weeks until Chinese New Year, we recommend shipping as early as possible from alternative ports instead of queuing for Beilun.”

Forwarder LCL cargo told customers: “For any LCL shipments booked from Ningbo but not delivered to us yet, please cancel the booking from Ningbo and divert the shipment to Shanghai immediately.”

Danish shipping company Maersk told The Loadstar it had no plans to omit Beilun terminals from its schedules, as the prospect of long landside delays has also prompted other forwarders to recommend shifting volumes from the port.

Westbound Logistics says trucks could not move from Ningbo to most nearby cities, and drivers entering the city faced a 14-day quarantine. International booking arte being re-routed because of the disruption.

“Internal transport and landside costs are spiralling in some areas, typically round-trips to and from Shanghai take up to an additional eight hours,” Westbound Logistics says. “Ocean freight availability and rates, from both Ningbo and Shanghai, are likely to be impacted.”

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