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Civil unrest has broken out in China after ten people died in an apartment building fire. As the country’s zero-Covid policy impacted emergency response times some protesters are pushing back on the severe restrictions. This adds to the complications that lockdowns will cause to the supply chain as shippers try to ensure holiday inventory is on shelves this season.

Perishables shippers need to be aware that delays could be compounded between the lockdowns in China impacting flights in and out but also a possible domestic railroad work stoppages that might result from contract negotiations.  We do not see these as immediate impacts for export perishables but we could see a knock down effect into 2023 if conditions do not improve. 

One good thing balancing the disruption is the reduced peak season being experienced this year. Partly from consumer slowdowns in spending, and a solid two-year non-stop shopping boom, the mild peak season is helping balance the cargo delays because there is so much less moving from Asia to the US. Were we in an import boom like last year, the disruption could be hitting harder and faster than we’d expect. 

Perishables shippers must be aware of critical market forces and plan their supplies and shipments with accuracy and dependability. With outbreaks of Covid complicating travel between several cities including Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Wuhan, movement in and out of Chinese ports has been difficult for more than one hundred days. Local protests are bubbling up against the strict policies as the nation takes containment very seriously and population density and local laws leave citizens few options to carry on when on lockdown. With one eye trained on the US Domestic rail negotiations and the other at the ILWU and PMA situation at USA ocean ports, there are a number of factors that could come together to create a shipping situation that would be unthinkably disrupted. The CFI global network is always working to ensure these disruptions do the minimum damage to our clients. We put together plans for contingencies throughout the pandemic to weather market stress and find alternative solutions for shippers who are looking at lockdowns, labor, or winter weather-related concerns. Trusting your cargo to the experts at CFI keeps you ahead of the competition this holiday season and beyond.