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China’s Yantian port partially closed due to COVID outbreak

  • Deteriorating conditions prompt suspension of all operations in the western area of Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) until further notice
  • Expect continued terminal congestion and vessel delays upwards of 5 days in the coming week
  • Due to these disruptions, several vessels will be omitting the Port of Yantian in order to protect schedule reliability
  • Trucking service into YICT has been impacted by the heavy traffic congestion around the terminal area with empty pickup now expected to be delayed by up to 8 hours
  • YICT is one of the busiest ports in the world, recording a cargo throughput of 13.35 million TEUs in 2020

More headaches for shippers: Container carrier Maersk has issued an advisory that the situation at Greater China Yantian port, where more COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed, continues to deteriorate, prompting the suspension of all operations in the western area of Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) until further notice.

In its third update last May 29, Maersk said terminal yard density at the port “remains elevated with disinfection and quarantine measures being continuously implemented by local authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“As such operations in the eastern area of the terminal where mother vessels mainly berth continues to experience low productivity levels. We expect continued terminal congestion and vessel delays upwards of 5 days in the coming week.”

YICT is a deep-water port in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China that specializes in handling containers of all sorts from feeders to very large container ships. One of the busiest ports in the world, it recorded a cargo throughput of 13.35 million TEUs handled last year.

The Maersk advisory said that on May 27, YICT updated the control measures of export laden containers as follows:

  • From May 25 at 10 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. of May 30, export laden container gate-in will be suspended. Import laden container gate-out and empty container pick-up operation will remain as normal.
  • From May 31 at 12 midnight, export laden container gate-in will resume. In the meantime, from May 31 to June 6, CY-open will be available only to vessels within ETA-3.

Import laden container operations which are mainly concentrated in the eastern area of the port will maintain normal operations.

Maersk said that due to these disruptions, several vessels will be omitting the Port of Yantian in order to protect schedule reliability.

Meanwhile, regarding empty containers, export empty pickup at Yantian retains normal operations except for Greeting Fortune Depot. Said Maersk: “40 GP and 40 HC empty supply has been negatively impacted by the vessel delays. Customers are encouraged to cross pick up at Chiwan or amend to 20 GP as an alternative in Yantian.”

Import empty return at Yantian is uninterrupted, again except for Greeting Fortune Depot.

Trucking service into YICT has been impacted by the heavy traffic congestion around the terminal area with empty pickup now expected to be delayed by upwards of 8 hours. Maersk foresees heavy congestion persisting once export laden gate-in resumes in YICT from May 31.

Photo by Gigel.atat

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