Shutdown at Ningbo Port: How Will This Disrupt Your Supply Chain?

Shutdown at Ningbo Port: How Will This Disrupt Your Supply Chain?

The Ningbo Meishan Island Container Terminal, also known as Meishan terminal, suspended operations at 3:30 am local time on Thursday 12th of August. This closure has continued since and has the possibility of being closed for up to 14 days. There is a substantial risk of long-term congestion at Ningbo Port, China's second-largest container port, and the effects may spread to other ports nearby.

The shutdown has occurred after a worker in an undisclosed carrier tested positive for COVID-19. While Ningbo Port has confirmed no other cases, it's essential to prepare for how further closure may affect your supply chain.

This article will outline the ongoing disruptions that may affect your supply chain and the potentially lasting effects for the future of global logistics.

Disruptions To Your Supply Chain

There are an estimated 28 container ships anchored in Ningbo Port, with a total of 186,749 TEU capacity. As the shutdown looks to continue, many containers have begun diverting from Ningbo to Shanghai, the world's busiest cargo gateway.

While other terminals remain open, they are facing heavy congestion. With a current waiting time of 2-3 days, this time is likely to increase further as carriers change route away from Ningbo Port.

Container terminals in eastern China are already under significant strain. After typhoon In-Fa hit the region two weeks ago, ports were suspended, leading to bottlenecks for many vessels and containers. The Ningbo Port shutdown has led to further delays in the already congested logistics chain.

The effort to combat COVID-19 has also affected air freight. Freighter flights to and from Europe and the USA have been suspended until August.

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Preparing For The Future

It may be too early to understand the full consequences of the shutdown on global supply chains. However, for each day the shutdown continues, results will be felt across the world as shipments are delayed.

With the disruption to supply chains and continued outbreaks in major Chinese manufacturing hubs, the existing congestion may have consequences for Black Friday and holiday shopping seasons.

Earlier this month, shipping and research consultancy Drewry warned that as cases of COVID-19 continue, port congestion, logjams, and higher freight rates might continue through to mid-2022. 

Ningbo Port has reported no further cases of COVID-19, and the outbreak appears to be confined exclusively to the port. With that said, it's essential to prepare for potential further delays and future shutdowns due to COVID-19. It is critical that you prepare your supply chain weeks in advance, 6-8 weeks notice is vital to try and combat the current issues in the marketplace. 

Taking advantage of technology, like WTA's control tower, is another way you can prepare for this risk. WTA's Control Tower can grant you visibility, precision, and transparency by streamlining your complex logistic processes into one platform. Knowing exactly where your goods are throughout major milestones means you can more quickly adapt to changes as they occur, avoiding unnecessary congestion. 

At WTA, we are international freight experts. Transporting all kinds of goods anywhere in the world with our network of global partners, we give all of our clients a completely personalised experience, streamlining their supply chain and reducing their overall costs. We develop solutions that perfectly fit your individual needs and prepare you for any risks with air, sea, overland and warehousing capabilities. Discover how we can help you.

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