China

China Update; Testing prompts Shanghai lockdown scare

With individual district lockdowns and mass testing again underway, the trade press have been reporting that Shanghai could go back into lockdown, which would be a major disruption as we enter the traditional peak season. It’s been just six weeks since Shanghai emerged from its two-month zero-COVID lockdown and several districts have been subjected to

Forecasting and protecting your Asia supply chain

Global sea freight operations have struggled with disruptions since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic over two years ago, and this has continued into 2022, with a peak shipping season this summer that is likely to be very chaotic. China’s zero-COVID strategy lockdowns have slowed supply chains and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has effectively ripped

Demand for Shanghai sea exports may divert to air freight

As COVID lockdown measures are gradually relaxed in Shanghai it is uncertain how quickly export sea freight volumes will rebound, but many experts are anticipating a strong and sustained spike in demand creating a backlog of shipping containers, which could once again result in ocean shipments diverting and putting pressure on air freight, which is already experiencing reduced

China exports surge even as consumer demand weakens

Container volumes at eight of China’s top ports surged 25% to 16.8 million TEU in April, largely driven by consumers in Europe and the US, but manufacturers are anticipating weakening demand. According to figures released by China’s Transport Ministry, only Shanghai recorded a decline in sea freight throughput in April, the first full month of the city-wide

Shanghai to return to normal in June? Let’s hope so…

Shanghai is aiming to reopen the city and business operations, with normal life resuming from the 1st June, as all 16 city districts report acceptably reduced ‘zero-COVID’ cases. At a press briefing on Monday, Shanghai’s Vice Mayor announced that 15 of Shanghai’s 16 districts had recorded no new COVID-19 infections for two consecutive days, with all of the city’s

Foreign workers leave China and it is likely to continue as China ‘reshapes’ commerce

Strict border controls amid China’s zero-COVID policy is creating a shortage of foreign expertise, with some suggesting the development could become a permanent feature, with ramifications for supply chains and an accelerating factor for consideration of production moving to alternative origins. China’s foreign national population has plummeted during the COVID pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of expats returning home since 2020

Shipping lines act to support rates by cancelling sailings from Asia

Across the major shipping trade lanes a total of 56 sailings have been blanked over the next four weeks – so far – representing an 8% cancellation rate. The halting of factory production, following the continuing lockdown in Shanghai, is resulting in a drop in export bookings from China, the ‘worlds factory’, of up to 40%, while

China supply chain pressures relentless

Despite talk of restarting manufacturing and a tiered reopening of Shanghai and the surrounding province, the situation remains challenging and delays are increasing in Ningbo as the volume of cargo diverted from Shanghai continues to grow. The Shanghai lockdown remains for a fifth week, with offices, workplaces, and public transport closed. Airport and container terminals remain

Blanked Shanghai sailings slow to materialise

As Shanghai enters the fourth week of an indefinite lockdown, container shipping lines are skipping calls at main Shanghai terminals, with more blank sailings anticipated as vessels waiting at Chinese ports double. Until the lockdown situation is resolved, which appears challenging when putting the Omicron variant against zero-tolerance, we expect drops in export demand, port

COVID update: Shanghai lockdown impact

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, expanding 4.8%, but the risk of a sharp slowdown over coming months has risen as Shanghai’s lockdown is extended indefinitely and further COVID-19 curbs may follow.  Nearly all of Shanghai is now under lockdown, with most residents unable leave their homes, even for food, while