Tremendous Delays Expected at China’s Yantian Port After COVID Outbreak

A COVID-19 outbreak at Yantian Port is expected to cause tremendous shipment delays following the rollout of stringent quarantine and disinfection measures.  Overall productivity at Yantian has been adversely affected, and berthing delays and port congestion are expected to worsen in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, more than 40 containerships were reportedly anchored in open waters outside the terminal waiting to berth.

The Chinese government has advised vessels to divert to nearby ports, including Shanghai, which has also reported severe congestion, Hong Kong, Ningbo, Guangzhou, and Xiamen, to ease pressure at Yantian.  Maersk, MCS, ONE, Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, and HMM have all announced plans to drop calls at Yantian due to the situation.

The delays will likely put further pressure on the already sky-high costs of shipping goods from China, which have soared since the onset of the pandemic.  Industry experts also anticipate massive space and equipment challenges, not only for Yantian but also for nearby ports.  The current congestion may also cause carriers blank sailing from northern ports, such as Tianjin and Qingdao.

We recommend our clients place bookings at least three to five weeks in advance to secure space.

Yantian Port, in the export hub of Shenzhen in Southern China, is one of the world’s busiest ports, with an annual handling volume of over 13 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).  The port serves as a critical gateway to China with roughly 100 vessels calling weekly, 60% of which operate on the American and European routes.

OCEANAIR will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.