Typhoon Chanthu Disrupts Operations at the Ports of Shanghai & Ningbo

Typhoon Chanthu that swept its way across East Asia over the weekend, has forced two of the world’s busiest container ports – Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan, to briefly suspend operations, adding to further disruption to the global supply chain.

Chanthu, one of the strongest storms of the year, had weakened since it made landfall in the Philippines and later Taiwan. Though the typhoon did not directly hit Shanghai, it was forecasted to bring torrential rains, floods, and strong winds to the region. Hence, as a precautionary measure, Shanghai and the adjacent Zhejiang province had decided to suspend port operations and cancel most flights and train services.

This is the second significant disruption within a month at the port of Ningbo. In August, Ningbo’s Meishan container terminal was shut for a couple of weeks when one of its dock workers tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to a pile up of containers. It seems like the disruption caused by the typhoon might as well lead to worsening the situation by further slowing down the supply chains.

The cost of transporting goods to Europe and North America from China has already escalated, and businesses are reporting notable delays in receiving their orders just as they try to stock up ahead of the upcoming holiday shopping season. However, the real impact of the typhoon on the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo, is yet to be seen.