The container ports of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, which have been disrupted by corona measures, are now a bigger threat to international container shipping than the blockade of the Suez Canal last March. That is the view of Lars Jensen, the Danish shipping expert of consultant Vespucci Maritime.
According to Jensen, for a comparison you only need to calculate the number of containers that were blocked by the two disruptions. The stalled ‘Ever Given’ in March meant that 55,000 teu could not continue for six days, so a total of 330,000 teu, according to the consultant.
The number of stranded containers in the South Chinese ports now exceeds that number. The Danish consultant has calculated that at least 25,500 teu per day cannot be transhipped at the container terminal of Yantian, which has now been used for only 30% for over two weeks. With a delay for container shipping, which according to the latest Maersk update is now at least sixteen days, you will already have more than 400,000 teu of blocked containers. “And then there are the numbers of the Shekou and Nansha container terminals on top of that,” says Jensen.
“We regret to inform you,” Maersk continued, “that 64 ships, including those of our partners, have avoided the ports of Yantian and Shekou to protect the reliability of the sailing schedule.”