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China Port Congestion Leaves Everything From Grains to Metals Stranded

  • Ship queues rise at Shanghai and Ningbo amid trucking shortage
  • Vessels divert to Qingdao, Tianjin to avoid congestion

By Ann Koh and Kevin Varley | 11 April 2022

BLOOMBERG — Dotting the sea off Chinese ports are 477 bulk cargo ships waiting to deliver resources from metal ore to grain into the country.

Queues of vessels carrying raw materials have jumped after Shanghai initiated a city-wide lockdown at the end of last month to combat Covid-19. More than two weeks on, the congestion has expanded to nearby Ningbo-Zhoushan as ship-owners desperately divert ships to other ports in the country to avoid the trucker shortage and warehouse closures in Shanghai.

There were 222 bulkers waiting off Shanghai as of April 11, 15% higher than a month earlier, according to Bloomberg shipping data. At Ningbo-Zhoushan there were 134 carriers, 0.8% higher than last month, while further north, the combined ports of Rizhao, Dongjiakou and Qingdao saw a 33% increase to 121 vessels.

Adding to the snarl, there were 197 container ships either loading or waiting to load in Shanghai’s combined anchorage with Ningbo, a 17% increase from a month ago. […]

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