How COVID-19 Lockdowns in China Could Impact Shipping

May 18, 2022

COVID-19 lockdowns in China "are hitting a global container distribution system that is already severely stressed and facing reduced capacity," according to a report from global shipping consultancy Drewry.

While a reduction in "port calls" in Shanghai, China - which has been under strict lockdown since mid-March - "accelerated considerably since mid-April," ship congestion "worsened considerably at Shanghai," according to Drewry officials.

"The greatest uncertainty is when China's lockdown restrictions will end and the bullwhip/rebound impact this will have across the supply chain."

Many factories "will need first to replenish their inventories of raw materials and then do a cold 're-start.' Also, liner shipping schedules will take at least one rotation to normalize. 

"This would mean that even if lockdowns were to end today, the predictability and capacity of the container distribution system would be jeopardized during summer peak season."

Click here and here to read past MTD articles that contain comments and analysis from Drewry.

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