Last week a single case of Covid-19 resulted in the closure of the Meishan container terminal at China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and now several big container companies are diverting their ships away from the post while dozens of ships are anchored outside, media The Wall Street Journal reports.
The giant port is the world’s third-largest container port and a big gateway for Chinese exports. The Meishan terminal which is one of the largest among seven box terminals at Ningbo is not expected to resume full operations for another few weeks and it’s creating congestion that is also seen spreading to other ports including ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong because big container companies including Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and France’s CMA CGM are diverting their ships away from Ningo.
The congestion at Meishan terminal is expected to lead to crowding at other posts along the Asia-to-Europe and trans-Pacific routes as well and that could slow down the flow of goods even more.
Nils Haupt, a spokesman for German boxship giant Hapag-Lloyd AG said, “We are currently looking at delays of up to two weeks in cargo deliveries. We’ve diverted four ships, but there is a race to berth in other ports and they are also congested.”