News

Shanghai authorities on Tuesday began dismantling fences around housing compounds and ripping police tape off public squares and buildings before the lifting of a two-month lockdown in China's largest city at midnight.

The Chinese government released a temporary three-phased schedule for reopening Shanghai as from 1st June. Production facilities are expected to be brought back online during that time, but delays and backlogs will persist.

Ocean carrier alliances are preparing to blank more than a third of their sailings from Asia over the coming weeks in response to a reduction in export freight. The blanking strategies by the alliances to mitigate the impact of the Covid lockdowns in China will further extend cargo lead times, particularly to North Europe.

In Shanghai, the lockdown is being eased in some parts of the city. Although there are signs of improvement, the lockdowns will last until at least mid-May and will continue to affect truck , port and airport operations.

Over the past several weeks, restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 have seen Shanghai’s industrial output and retail sales plummet, while supply chain ripple effects are expected to continue into June or July.

China and Europe still have critically limited available capacity due to prevailing market conditions including the Zero COVID policy in China and the ongoing war in the Ukraine. Shanghai Airport remains essentially closed given the current lockdown situation with no end date planned.

China is currently experiencing the biggest Corona outbreak since the pandemic began more than two years ago. Since the most populous country is pursuing a zero-covid strategy, there are extensive curfews in Shanghai and other large cities. This is causing bottlenecks in overland traffic in addition to more and more freight capacity being tied up by waiting ships at important Chinese ports.

South Africa suspended shipping at its main port in Durban after the heaviest rains in more than six decades and resultant flooding damaged roads leading to the harbour. Durban harbour is a key trade route for South Africa and its landlocked neighbours including Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.  

While some residents were allowed to step out of their homes for the first time in several days, Shanghai enters the second week of an indefinite lockdown, leading to ocean carriers increasingly omitting calls at the world's largest sea port and preparing to announce more blank sailings.  

The Shanghai lockdown has been extended indefinitely, a move that casts further uncertainty over Chinese supply chains. The severe restrictions in the eastern half of the city, including Pudong, were due to be lifted on Friday, but nearly all areas remain under lockdown and local authorities have given no timeframe for its end.  

© 2022 KOPF & LÜBBEN GMBH

You are using an outdated browser. The website may not be displayed correctly. Close