Congestion at Chinese ports is building up as China experiences its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases since early 2020. The highly-infectious Omicron variant is spreading quickly and many port workers, truckers, and factory workers are ordered to stay at home. Container loading capacity has decreased significantly as a result.
According to Refinitiv ship tracking data, there are 34 vessels waiting to dock in Shenzhen and 30 vessels waiting in Qingdao. Both cities only had 7 vessels waiting to dock at this time last year. Rates for 40-foot containers remain close to all-time highs, trading at $16,000 from China to the U.S. West Coast and $13,000 from China to Europe.
1. COVID curbs bite at Chinese ports, threatening global supply chains, Reuters, March 16, 2022. Accessed Mar 21, 2022.