International transport updates: China covid-19 restrictions

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Ports and logistics services remain operational, slowdowns on the whole logistics chain

China has locked down Shenzhen and the northeast province of Jilin in the latest effort to contain the pandemic, while nearly 19 provinces are fighting the spread of the Omicron and Delta variants. In Shanghai, schools, businesses, restaurants and shopping malls have been temporarily closed.

The southern Chinese port city Shenzhen has started a seven-day – from 14th to 20th March – Covid-19 city-wide lockdown:

  • All non-essential activities and services, including warehouses, must be closed
  • All non-essential workers must stay at home
  • Only essential activities and services will be able to operate
  • All adults must undergo three PCR tests by Sunday 20 March
  • All public transport is suspended

Ports, terminals and logistics services are operating normally, bu the measures will impact the delivery of products from that region.

Trucking restrictions for vehicles traveling in and out of Shenzhen remain in effect and could slow the supply chain, since no cargo from outside the restricted area can enter.

Shenzhen is the third largest port in the world for container traffic and its slowdown would significantly affect the entire logistics chain, exacerbating concerns about disruptions to supply chains and the subsequent rise in production costs.

Another critical point is Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, which diverted flights from abroad to thirteen other Chinese airports for six weeks, again to contain the spread of the second Omicron variant. The measure concerns only passenger flights, but has negative consequences on goods due to the reduction of the hold belly, with a consequent increase in freight rates.


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