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Shanghai’s 25 million residents remain in the lockdown that started late last month before authorities extended the lockdown indefinitely. These restrictions have resulted in significant delays at Shanghai port, forcing some cargo to divert to Ningbo, Qingdao, and Tianjin. Due to the lockdown, carriers warned that trucking services in and out of Shanghai will be impacted by delays of more than 30 percent.

Under the lockdown, the city government has stated that freight operations will continue as usual and the port is expected to maintain a 24-hour schedule with a less than a one-day turnaround. However, some reports have come in that there are over three hundred ships waiting, a claim that was refuted by the Shanghai International Port Group. Many truck drivers are having difficulty getting cargo containers from Pudong to Puxi in a timely manner. Shanghai’s traffic is difficult news for consumers and businesses globally.

Because of the lengthy shutdown, fewer vessels will be headed to the USA and the bunch of ships will again lead to backed up docks and short stocked shelves. Pent-up demand and pent-up supply will mean that overly full ships are on the horizon when things are allowed to continue. The queues to offload that cargo will go from relatively short to much longer in San Pedro Bay. 

The pressure to turn boats quickly will hurt agricultural exporters’ ability to get equipment and impact the overall shipment timing this summer and possibly even into the fall. The wildcard in this situation is that rates are quickly rising for air cargo due to the war in Ukraine, a removal of freighter capacity with the effectual grounding of AirBridge, and surging oil prices. This means perishable exports from the US by sea will be forced to transition to air when delays become critical.

Currently, there are more than 450 bulk ships and 200 container vessels awaiting berth space to unload, a deluge of cargo that will be backlogged for weeks once the port finally gets back to full functionality.

CFI is working hard to keep our readers informed as this situation unfolds. It’s our responsibility to help you make the best decision regarding your perishable cargo and the decisions you’ll make in the coming months to ensure it’s shipped and secured via our incredible cool-chain technology. If you have any questions and want to know more about how CFI can help you keep cool all summer long, reach out to your representative today.