The port of Yantian was closed from the 25th to the 31st May 2021 as a measure to contain an outbreak of COVID-19. Due to the volume of cargo handled through Yantian, this resulted in an immediate backlog of cargo as well as congestion outside the port.
Part of the Yantian port is currently reopened. However, the workforce and productivity are only at 30% of previous levels. Sanitation measures are restricting access to the port, both for workers and truck drivers.
Consequently, a large number of vessels have omitted Yantian and some vessels have been diverted to alternative ports in southern China. The ports in Nansha, Shekou and Hong Kong are unable to accommodate the backlog of cargo from Yantian. In addition, customs formalities limit the ability to transfer cargo from one port to another.
As a result, the market is facing cargo backlogs, vessel delays, port omissions and overwhelming demand for space. Yantian is contributing to further uncertainty in rates and the overall capacity situation. Once the ports resume normal operations, we expect a surge of cargo for another 2-5 weeks as well as additional ripple effects due to the interruption of empty flows back to South China. The aftershocks will be felt around the world, in every industry, for at least 2-3 quarters.
You can follow the development of the situation in Yantian via seaexplorer. Here you can find daily updates about affected vessels, port information and general news about the situation.