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Shanghai container yards full with dangerous goods amid lockdown

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Herons Logistics

SINGAPORE : Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) has cautioned that container yards in Shanghai’s Yangshan and Waigaoqiao ports are filling up with dangerous goods and reefers as the city continues to be locked down.

The ocean carrier said that limited trucking availability has restricted import clearance, causing the pile-up.

“Yangshan and Waigaoqiao PH2, in particular, are encountered with critically high dangerous goods and reefers,” said ONE, adding that certain dangerous goods and reefers may not be allowed to be discharged if the volume cannot be accommodated and in such circumstances, goods may have to be diverted to other ports.

Liner operators and freight forwarders are offering relief and advice to use alternative ports as Shanghai’s lockdown has been extended indefinitely.

On 4 April, just as Shanghai was supposed to emerge from an initial eight-day lockdown, the Chinese government announced that the port city will remain in “closed-off management” until further notice.

China is battling its most serious Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic first appeared in Wuhan in December 2019. This time, Shanghai is the epicentre of the latest outbreak, with more than 110,000 infections confirmed since 1 March, prompting the government to mandate testing for the city’s 25 million residents. On 6 April alone, a daily record of 19,928 infections was confirmed.

Aware of the impact of Shanghai’s prolonged lockdown on shippers, Maersk Line is offering a relief package that includes a free change of destination on imports into Shanghai, provided these have an estimated arrival date from 1-15 April.

The Danish giant said that the package enables shippers to assess the different options that are the most appropriate for their businesses, and work around the current pressure points caused by the Shanghai lockdown, to minimise supply chain disruptions.

APL Logistics (APLL) has advised that while trucking operations to container yards are ongoing for most cities, some cities, such as Pinghu, Jurong, Lianyungang, Tongxiang, Kunshan and Taicang have restricted operations. Factories in the cities of Jiashan, Jiaxing and Wujiang need to apply for permits to continue production during the lockdown.

APLL said, “We are monitoring the situation closely, and our operation team has notified all vendors to stop cargo delivery. We are working with the impacted customers and will coordinate directly until the situation is relieved.”

Sources in Shanghai told Container News that even as Shanghai International Port Group asserts that the port is still operating normally, trucking is delayed as drivers have to produce negative polymerase chain reaction tests to access other cities, a point corroborated by freight forwarder GEODIS.

GEODIS noted that trucking is allowed only for those carrying personal protection equipment and essentials.

The company said, “The lockdown has resulted in a lack of manpower that is required to resume normal operations at various terminals for incoming and dispatching vessels. This has further increased congestion and limited capacity at the ports.

“Shipping lines are very concerned about the significantly reduced volumes in Shanghai in the upcoming weeks. We strongly recommend alternative loading ports, such as Ningbo and Taicang, for urgent shipments.”

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