With China locking down the port city of Shenzhen on Sunday in hopes of reducing a COVID-19 spread, forwarders have warned clients that the measure will impact the delivery of products from that region. Many have also issued advisories about a potential disruption.
China’s “zero-COVID” strategy was previously used in Yantian in 2021, when it was closed for a month between May and June. The move created havoc on the supply chain, and the clog took months to dissolve.
The hit in trade from the closure of the third-largest port in the world can be seen in the SONAR chart below. The number of coveted boxes fell in July, when they were not able to be loaded in May and June.
As for shipping alternatives, getting product on a plane out of Yantian may not be feasible.
Shenzhen, home to 17 million residents, is not the only city seeing COVID surges. Shanghai has instituted targeted lockdowns of schools, businesses, restaurants and malls.
The issue is that trade and manufacturing take people. If workers cannot leave their houses, nothing can get made or transported. Shenzhen and Shanghai are the country’s major electronic manufacturing hubs.
Ports need trucks and warehouses open in order to move trade out of the port.
Trucks outside of Shenzhen are unable to enter the city and cross-border shipments from Shenzhen to Hong Kong are not going anywhere unless they are considered “essential.”
There are other cities also facing “zero-COVID” measures. Changchun officials are only allowing one family member every day to go and get food.