Yantian port disruption widens with global ripple effects



While some container shipping lines will continue calling at Yantian, other carriers have already diverted ships as the port’s operations have deteriorated, with Maersk warning that delays are now expected to last two weeks.

The Yantian congestion is yet another disruption to global shipping still reeling from the impact of the Suez Canal blocking in late March and the record surge of imports from Asia that has caused port congestion across Asia, the US, and Europe. This is again a localised issue that is creating a global impact and concern that will take months to recover with the ensuing fallout.

The closure of the three-berth west terminal is causing significant disruption with “increased congestion and vessel delays upwards of 14 days expected in Yantian port,” Maersk said in a customer advisory.

It is not yet clear when the west terminal at Yantian will reopen, while the east terminal (which handles the deep-sea container ships) is operating at 30% of normal productivity as dock workers remain quarantined or work in smaller teams.

All terminals are enforcing strict booking windows for laden containers and there are substantial traffic jams resulting from traffic control measures, that are also impacting trucking capacity.

Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, and Ocean Network Express (ONE) are omitting scheduled calls at Yantian through the end of June and carriers are diverting some sailings to Shekou in western Shenzhen and Nansha, about 90 miles west of Yantian.

Laden export containers at Shekou, Chiwan, and Mawan will only be accepted up to three days before vessel departure from the 6th to 13th of June and Yantian has imposed a similar three-day cutoff during the same period.

Yantian
  • Operating with limited capacity
  • Yard density remains elevated with disinfection and quarantine measures
  • Congestion and vessel delays upwards of 14 days are expected
  • Trucking service into YICT must be reserved in advance
  • Covid test with green health codes required for drivers to enter the terminal
  • Only accept laden export containers with a vessel ETA of three days
  • Terminal workforce reduced by 70% following quarantine restrictions and testing

Nansha
  • Diverted vessels and containers creating congestion
  • New restrictions reducing access for transport
  • Traffic congestion building
  • Up to several days wait for container pick-up and laden container gate-in
  • Negative Covid tests required for truck drivers to enter the terminal

Shekou
  • Several carriers announced that vessels would omit the terminal
  • 6th of June till 13th of June, export laden container gate-in will be accepted only 3 days prior to vessel ETA

While the congestion continues at Yantian and other South China ports, we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate its impact and provide alternative solutions where it is appropriate or necessary. 

The key to strategic planning is visibility. Please continue to send your three month forecasts of movements to ensure we can manage your cargo flows and business expectations.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like any further information regarding the situation in Yantian, please don’t hesitate to contact Elliot Carlile or Grant Liddell.

We are always transparent and candid in providing full visibility of the realities of the global logistics market, that will have an impact on our customers supply chains. Please call, email or text to arrange an immediate market update meeting, and soon face to face visit, from your Metro colleagues and account manager.