China reopens terminal at world's third-busiest port after Covid-19 shutdown

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – The Meishan terminal at China’s second-busiest port reopened on Wednesday (Aug 25) following a two-week shutdown that further snarled already stressed shipping routes in Asia.

The terminal will start the resumption of normal operations on Wednesday, a port official said at a press conference in the city of Ningbo. The terminal was about a quarter of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port’s capacity and was shut from Aug 11 after a worker was found to be infected with Covid-19.

The congestion and delays on global shipping routes due to the pandemic has only worsened this year as Chinese exports hit new records due to rising global demand. This was the second closure of part of a port in China this year due to a Covid-19 outbreak, after the month-long shutdown of Yantian port from late May.

With demand for vessels and containers rising this year and companies ramping up exports to Europe and the United States for the year-end holiday shopping season, even a limited closure of part of a port is costly for both shoppers and shippers. Even though the Meishan terminal was only shut for a few weeks, it will likely take a while for the congestion to ease.

It now costs almost US$11,000 for a container to ship goods from Shanghai to Los Angeles, a new record and more than 220 per cent higher than a year ago.

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