Container Shortage Fears Spark Amid New COVID Lockdowns

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Container lines trading on Indian markets have been working urgently to bolster empty equipment levels, but are now becoming concerned about the impact of sailing disruptions fuelled by fresh Covid lockdowns in China, reports the Loadstar.

Pressure on vessel flow

Most empties returning to India have historically arrived on intra-Asia trade routes, with China-origin containers leading that play, but Indian executives at major carriers have begun to send out cautionary signals.

They warn that if the lockdown in Shenzhen (and, reportedly, many other provinces), in force until 20 March, prolongs and extends into other regions, there would be serious pressure on vessel flow already operating with all-time low schedule reliability.

Sunil Vaswani, executive director of India’s Container Shipping Lines Association (CSLA), told The Loadstar busy terminals in the Shenzhen region, such as Yantian, Shekou and Da Chan Bay, were struggling with labour shortages, slowing operations and vessel turnaround.

In case the situation does not improve over the next couple of days, completion of vessel operations and their eventual sailing could get delayed, leading to a cascading effect and congestion at ports, as well as even perhaps some blank sailings, as vessels would scramble to keep their schedules,” said Mr Vaswani.

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Source: The Loadstar

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