A Covid-19 outbreak around Yantian Port has seen boxships weigh anchor in the South China Sea

The outbreak, first detected at the key boxport 10 days ago, has seen three berths closed and others work at just 30% of their capacity as authorities put in place strict disinfection and quarantine measures.

Congestion is inevitable

“Due to suspension of three berths at West Port from operations from 21 May 2021 and limited manpower resources, our operations capacity has been affected and our yard density is high,
yard density at Yantian is at a very high level. An advisory from Maersk yesterday warned that the Danish carrier expects continued terminal congestion and vessel delays upwards of seven to eight days in the coming week.

The container yards are only open to vessels with an ETA of just three days, while at Shekou port to the west, which covers the Chiwan and Mawan container terminal, the export laden container gate-in will be accepted only to vessels within ETA of five days.

Covid cases have stretched beyond Shenzhen to cross much of Guangdong province, sparking lockdowns and mass testing.