COVID lockdowns in China have slowed operations at the nation’s ports — expanding restrictions in Shanghai are making the situation worse.

New lockdowns that restrict movement and activity throughout China’s largest city began yesterday. According to reports, they constitute the most robust shutdowns since the original restrictions in Wuhan.

We have received numerous announcements warning of new restrictions throughout Shanghai. The staggered lockdowns will roll through various city regions, lasting from March 28 to April 5.

Existing congestion at ports around Shanghai will worsen. Dock and factory workers alike will be homebound, halting both manufacturing and transportation of goods.

Freight Impact of Chinese Zero-Tolerance Pandemic Policy

China’s zero-tolerance policy toward COVID-19 outbreaks has caused a sequence of shutdowns across its various cities. Each new lockdown leaves adjacent ports shorthanded, limiting the availability of dockworkers, truck drivers, and more. Cargo movement stalls, blanked sailings increase, and carriers skip ports altogether. After the lockdown has passed, a surge of port activity follows.

U.S. ports on the other side of the Pacific feel the effects of this pattern sharply. First, a lull in cargo volume allows temporary relief at overworked facilities like Los Angeles and Long Beach. Then, a whiplash of heavy cargo volumes overwhelms operations and lengthens vessel queues again.

Moving freight under these conditions can become challenging. Scarbrough International has the resources and contacts to get the job done. Contact us for assistance and insight.