Indian Transport & Logistics

Shanghai port congestion at new high

Recent increase is far higher than both last year and normal seasonal levels: VesselsValue

Shanghai port congestion at new high

There has been an almost five-fold increase in the number of ships waiting to load or discharge at Shanghai in the last two-and-half weeks, according to data from VesselsValue.

Authorities in Shanghai imposed a strict two-stage lockdown of 26 million residents, closing bridges and tunnels and restricting highway traffic, following increasing Covid cases, Reuters reported.

Vivek Srivastava, Senior Trade Analyst, VesselsValue, in his latest update, said: "With roads, bridges and tunnels between Pudong and Puxi areas blocked for at least a week, Shanghai International Port Group, which manages the city's ports, released a statement saying other than in cases of extreme weather, 24-hour operations would be maintained."

Figure 1: Numbers of ships waiting to load/discharge at Shanghai

As shown in Figure 1, congestion at Shanghai usually worsens at this time of year. "However, the recent increase is far higher than both last year and normal seasonal levels. Broken down by ship type, the surge in congestion is driven by dry bulk carriers followed by tankers (Figure 2). Conversely, there are six fewer containerships in the queue than on March 9."

Figure 2: Ships waiting to load/discharge at Shanghai, broken down by ship type

It is unclear what impact Shanghai's lockdown will have on the port's vessel queue, whether it will worsen the backlog or clear it, Srivastava said in his report. "However, supply chain managers and analysts around the world will need to start planning for knock on effects."

Map of ships waiting outside Shanghai (red denotes laden, green denotes ballast).

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