Port of Ningbo and Shanghai Pudong Airport Closures

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Port of Ningbo and Shanghai Pudong Airport Closures

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port

Monday, August 16, 2021, is the sixth consecutive day that Meishan terminal at Ningbo-Zhoushan port has remained closed. Container vessels at anchor outside the port are at record levels. Meishan terminal accounts for about one fifth of the approximate TEU throughput of Ningbo-Zhoushan port.

The port authority of Ningbo Zhoushan port has not yet said when Meishan will reopen. According to an article posted on splash247.com, “sources in Ningbo told Splash today that the port has earmarked a tentative date for Meishan of September 6.”

Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo terminal has implemented strict operation procedures to control COVID-19. Outbound capacity and cargo operations at Shanghai Pudong airport have been reduced and there is a shortage in the workforce due to the long and frequent COVID-19 testing process.

This is causing a backlog of cargo at Shanghai Pudong which is expected to last until late August (at the earliest). Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights as we enter peak season. Air freight rates are expected to increase due to the high demand and tight capacity.

The mass cancellation of cargo flights is the latest disruption this year in a series of supply chain bottlenecks that began at the beginning of the pandemic. The total international cancellations equate to about 30% cut in capacity.

Chinese carriers, including Air China, have canceled almost all cargo-only passenger flights to the U.S. because of the new quarantine measures covering China-domiciled pilots so they have enough crews to operate their pure freighters.

Other passenger and cargo airlines that have canceled flights include:

  • S.F. Express, a large integrated logistics company in China that operates its own in-house airline. It has stopped all charter flights to the U.S. and reduced scheduled flights from Shenzhen to Los Angeles from three times to once per week.
  • China Airlines, which scrubbed passenger freighters to London Heathrow Airport on Aug. 6 and 8.
  • Dubai-based Emirates, which canceled two flights to the U.S. and Frankfurt, Germany, from China this week.
  • Hainan Airlines, which canceled three cargo-only flights to Los Angeles next week.
  • Polar Air Cargo, a joint venture between Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (NASDAQ: AAWW) and DHL Express. It has stopped flying inbound freight to China from the U.S. 
  • China recently recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the outbreak in Wuhan last year. Chinese authorities are very aggressive in their efforts to prevent the spread of the virus outbreak. At Shanghai Pudong airport employees work for seven days, quarantine in a government hotel for seven days, then quarantine at home for seven days, before starting the cycle over again.

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