Carriers report berthing delays and are omitting port calls at Yantian after COVID-19 outbreak in Southern China.
A congestion problem at the Port of Yantian as southern China battles a new outbreak of COVID-19 is getting worse. At Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) Maersk advises that “increased congestion and vessel delays upwards of 14 days are expected.” Carriers, including Maersk, Hapag-Llloyd and CMA-CGM have begin posting advisories listing services that are now omitting calls at YICT. For Hapag-Lloyd the omissions run until 3 July at this point, though the carrier notes that the situation remains fluid and subject to change.
At the moment YICT is the most affected. Yard density, said Maersk, “remains elevated with disinfection and quarantine measures being continuously implemented by local authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19”. Maersk said all operations in the western area have been suspended and it estimates berth productivity at the eastern area of the terminal, where mother vessels normally berth, is “about 30% of its normal level” and . YICT is limiting gate access for export containers to arrival no more than three days before vessel ETA, and only on confirmation of a reservation. Import gate operations in the eastern area of the terminal maintain normal operations.
Shekou port including Chiwan Container Terminal, Mawan Container Terminal and Shekou Container Terminal are now only accepting export laden container gate-ins within three days of vessel ETA. From 7 June Nansha will limit export gate-ins to within 7 days of vessel ETA.
CMA CGM has been offering Shekou and Nansha as an alternative port of loading for some services scheduled to call at YICT. Moving containers to other terminals, however, creates another set of problems. "As more cargoes are diverted to Nansha and epidemic prevention measures for COVID-19 are also implemented in Guangzhou, we see traffic congestion and it could take 9 hours for empty container pick up or laden container gate-in," Maersk said in its advisory.