FEPORT: EU Must Prepare for a Deluge of Delayed Cargo From Shanghai

Shanghai yangshan
Shanghai Yangshan (CSCEC)

Published Apr 27, 2022 3:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals (FEPORT) is warning of a coming flood of cargo when the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai finally ends. 

The COVID lockdown in Shanghai has been particularly strict. Local authorities have implemented neighborhood-by-neighborhood shutdowns with daily testing, in-house confinement and limited opportunities for movement - even for basic daily needs like food shopping. The disruption has had far-ranging effects on logistics in one of the world's busiest manufacturing regions, and drayage to and from the Port of Shanghai has been heavily disrupted, though the port complex is still staffed and continues to operate.

Based on data from VesselsValue, over 700 ships (of all kinds) are stuck waiting to load at the world's busiest container port, sitting at anchor until terminal operations pick up again. Many of these ships will head to Europe once they're full, and they will likely arrive en masse in 2-3 months - with "tremendous" cascading effects for European supply chains, FEPORT cautions.

“It is very urgent to anticipate and get organized. Stakeholders representing shipping lines, port authorities, seaport terminals, shippers, freight forwarders, pilots, tug operators, inland transport operators, rail operators, road transport operators, etc. should very soon gather under the patronage of the EU Commission to discuss how we can individually and collectively prepare to avoid a 'nightmare' for EU logistics and supply chains, otherwise EU consumers and businesses will be penalized," said FEPORT Secretary General Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.

According to DW, nearly one third of the goods that would normally leave Shanghai are delayed due to lockdown. When factoring in factory and warehouse closures, there may be a flood of goods heading to Western consumer economies in the months to come when the backlog is released. Supply chain expert Vincent Stamer told DW that up to 5-8 percent of the trade between China and Germany (Europe's largest economy) is now delayed.

"EU seaports terminals (employers and employees) cannot be once again the 'buffer' absorbing all the shocks and pressure that will result from the situation prevailing in Shanghai. We need commitments from all parties to act in order to adapt to the situation that will affect European ports in 8 to 12 weeks from now," concludes FEPORT Secretary General.