COVID-19 case at world’s largest port

By Margaret Bux
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Shipments could be disrupted due to reports of a new COVID-19 outbreak at the Meishan wharf at the Ningbo Zhoushan Port in Ningbo, East China’s Zheijiang Province.  After an employee of the wharf tested positive, operations at the wharf were suspended on Wednesday, with tankers and container ships redirected to neighboring wharfs, resulting in longer waiting and loading times at these ports. 

The waiting time for containers to be loaded onto ships could be extended from the usual one to two days for up to more than a week.  Along with other anti-virus measures and restrictions, container shortages, the closure of ports due to typhoons in late July, plus the supply chain effect, it has been predicted by some industry insiders that it may take about a month for the backlog to be eased.

With a cargo handling capacity near 1.2 billion tons in 2020, Ningbo is the world’s largest port.  Of the 600 routes and 100 countries/regions the Ningbo port handles, those most affected are those going to the U.S. and Canada as these have the longest schedules.  Exports of electronics, medical equipment and gifts and toys for Christmas are expected to be delayed.  China’s manufacturing industries could be impacted by delays to the supply of raw materials and bulk commodity imports.

It has however also been reported that the employee that tested positive for COVID-19, lives and works in a “closed circle” of co-workers of the port, so the impact of the case on the port’s operations would probably be minimal and easier to control, with port operations expected to return to normal quickly.

China’s Ministry of Transport recently issued new COVID guidelines for port and other front-line workers including tests for all crew members upon arrival, though this could also cause delays which affect the productivity of ports, according to other industry opinion.

If you have any questions about import shipments from Ningbo, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Clarke Global Logistics on 9854 3000 or email


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