Freight News, Sea

Lockdowns lead to shipping delays

[ January 25, 2022   //   ]

Shipping delays from China to Europe spiked by a third in December, rising from four to six days, according to the project44 information service. Carriers struggled with schedule reliability in December as congestion at ports and the Covid Omicron variant resulted in delays.

While carriers implemented various strategies, including blank sailings and sailing schedule changes to improve on-time reliability it has not proven as successful as carriers had hoped, project44 added.

China’s zero-Covid policy is playing a major role in the delays, said vice president of Supply Chain Data Insights at project44, Josh Brazil: “COVID impacts to shipping will be a toss-up in terms of labour available at Asian manufacturers, ports and throughout the supply chain. This will likely continue to impact carriers’ schedule reliability which in turn will cause a ripple effect downstream of  supply chains.”

In December, a number of COVID cases were reported in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, which includes the city and port of Ningbo, resulting in a new lockdown in early December which in turn restricted trucks going in and out of the port, slowing operations. This latest lockdown probably led to the increase in the number of delayed shipping days.