Data Reveals Congestion in South Chinese Ports Could Potentially Impact Seasonal Shipments As Far Out As Christmas

CHICAGO – July 07, 2021 – Dwell times at major Shenzhen ports tracked by project44 remains disruptively high, despite trending downward in recent days with the Port of Yantian at full capacity again.  

The data suggests that disruptions related to China’s COVID-19 quarantine efforts could extend well into the year, impacting seasonal shipments as far out as Christmas. 

Last month, Chinese authorities restricted operations at the Port of Yantian (YICT) in an effort to slow a COVID-19 outbreak in the region, creating a massive cargo bottleneck at the port.  

Despite the port operating at full capacity again, the backlog is affecting the region’s manufacturing sector presenting a headache for shippers, one that is said to last for the immediate future. 

As of July 1st, the rolling seven-day average dwell times were 12.9 days for outbound (Port of Loading) and 4.2 days for inbound cargo (Port of Discharge). While high by pre-pandemic measurements, these numbers are well below last month’s high of 25.4 as a port of lading, which occurred on June 22. 

P44 Dwell Times Port Yantian 07 01 21

High port of lading dwell times suggest that port workers are still working their way through a massive backlog of cargo that has built up over the last month, both at the port, and in factories and warehouses across the region.  

This corroborates reports that some factories have paused production due to lack of space, causing further supply chain delays that will be felt for months to come. 

While yard density in Yantian is said to be down to 65% and overall productivity has increased to 85% of normal levels, the impact on Yantian port is also affecting some of the neighboring ports of Shekou, Nansha and Hong Kong.  

Blanks sailings figures are also on the rise heading into July, reaching 17 on July 1st, and 12 on July 2nd. While these figures are well below last month’s high of 26 blank sailings, which occurred on June 11th, even in the teens, these blank sailings represent 189,203 and 107,326 TEU of total vessel capacity skipping YICT on the 1st and 2nd respectively. 

0702 p44 Blank Sailing Port Yantian 07 01 21 01

“While we can see that cargo is moving through the port again, this event is shaping up to be one of the most disruptive of the year,” said Josh Brazil, Vice President of Marketing at project44. “ 

This is yet another reminder to shippers that disruptions can happen at any point, and that it’s increasingly important that they gain full visibility into their shipments, diversify and bolster their supply chains, and do everything possible to get ahead of events like these that are inevitable in today’s world.” 

Disclaimer: The data referenced in this release is sourced from project44’s freight visibility platform, based on the logistics indicators that the platform tracks. The sample data sets referenced do not include all freight movement data tracked by other entities. Data from project44’s platform reflects a statically significant sample size to draw conclusions.