The recent coronavirus outbreak at the Chinese port of Yantian could cause a bigger disruption than the Suez Canal blockage in March.
Yantian port stopped accepting export containers last month after a local infection cluster amongst the port workers. Even though the Port of Yantian is now back operating at full capacity, it will take weeks to get back to normal.
The latest international freight update estimates it will take weeks to clear the containers already at the southern China gateway and the backlog of exports waiting to ship from manufacturers in the region.
Even though the Port is now back operating at full capacity, it will take weeks to get back to normal
Shippers are paying thousands in ocean premiums even before peak season, with global freight still backed up. And it's not going to get better any time soon.
While back online, the Yantian disruption and persistent demand are making empty containers scarce and continuing to put pressure on rates.
"It was already hard to find containers before, and the situation is even scarier now," said Alfred Wong, CEO of D&S Products Manufactory
Importers are paying dearly as a result. Most spot importers are paying thousands more in above-market premiums just to actually secure space.