Despite assurance from Chinese officials, the situation at the Port of Yantian is worsening. With manpower down by 70%, only the eastern portion of the terminal is operating at present.
As such, carriers are continuously increasing the number of days they say is required to clear up congestion at the ports, with the estimated period currently standing at 14 days.
The impact of a reduced workforce is clearly shown in the data below:
Although blank sailings and diverted routes have been announced, this is likely to create logjams at other ports.
A number of sources are currently suggesting around 20,000 containers are backed up. Officials say problems at YICT will be quickly resolved, however others expect disruption to run well into July.
Shippers are being warned that the backlog created in Yantian, disruption to ocean services and added volumes to alternate nearby ports will add additional pressure on rates and exacerbate the equipment shortage.
Given the container crunch, every shipment now has the potential to deteriorate into a bidding war.
Source: Freight Waves