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Closed-loop management returns to Ningbo-Zhoushan amid new Covid-19 outbreak

Ningbo-Zhoushan port has implemented closed-loop management and green channels to enable the movement of container trucks, after new Covid-19 outbreaks in the Beilun district, where the port is located in, resulted in a three-day lockdown that began on 14 October.

However, the lockdown is expected to be extended as more infections have occurred.

Authorities swung into action after a Covid-19 infection was confirmed on 13 October, prompting contingency execution by the officials at Ningbo-Zhoushan port, which is home to 20,000 container trucks.

Trucks can make round trips from four highway entrances, including Beilun, Chaiqiao, Chuanshan, and Guoju, to container terminals in Beilun. Eligible truck drivers have been issued round-trip permits under a whitelist system, and they have to undergo daily nucleic acid tests.

Shippers are also urged to make use of alternative logistic channels to avoid bottlenecks, while Ningbo-Zhoushan port has been adjusting berthing schedules to minimise congestion. Port officials said that under closed-loop management, which obliges port workers to stay in the port area, container handling in Ningbo-Zhoushan continues to be smooth.

Movement restrictions in the Beilun district were intensified on 16 October as more infections were uncovered. People have been told to stay home and buy daily necessities online, with the items delivered to a collection point near their residences. Malls, supermarkets, shops and even farms have been ordered to close.

China is maintaining its zero tolerance of Covid-19, a policy reinforced by President Xi Jinping at the Communist Party Congress on 16 October.

Xi defended the policy even though it means intermittent lockdowns and mass testing, saying it has saved lives and delivered “positive results”.

Source: Container News


Ningbo closing in on Singapore as world’s second largest container port

Singapore is now facing the possibility of being overtaken by China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port as the world’s second-busiest container port, 12 years after losing its crown as the world’s busiest box port to Shanghai.

Alphaliner’s latest report on 21 September noted that Ningbo-Zhoushan handled 17.54 million TEU in the first half of 2022, just 1.08 million TEU less than Singapore, as the three-month lockdown of Shanghai caused substantial diversion of Transpacific cargoes to Ningbo-Zhoushan.

Alphaliner observed, “Indeed Ningbo-Zhoushan even overtook Singapore in Q2 though figures were undoubtedly boosted by the extraordinary Shanghai lockdowns in April and May. Ningbo-Zhoushan has benefited from restrictions at its lock-down hit neighbour Shanghai, with many carriers diverting ships to avoid delays and trucking issues.”

Ningbo-Zhoushan continued to grow in July, at 3.28 million TEU, up 26% from the year before, even as volumes bounced back at Shanghai. Overall, Shanghai posted a decline of 1.8% over H1 2022 to 22.54 million TEU, while Ningbo-Zhoushan logged growth of nearly 9%.

China’s eight ports represented 53% of total throughput for the leading 20 ports in the period, a figure that is likely to grow further as the country funnels traffic towards a smaller number of hub ports.

As of July, Ningbo-Zhoushan had 301 container services calling, while July marked the fourth consecutive month its throughput exceeded 3 million TEU. More widely, continued port growth – even if modest – contrasts with the drop in carrier volumes seen this year.

Collectively, liftings for Maersk, CMA CGM, COSCO, ONE, ZIM and HMM dropped to 50.9 million TEU in H1 2022, a decline of 5.5% versus the same period in 2021, and diverging from the 1% increase in port throughput.

Alphaliner explained, “Higher transshipment activity may be partially distorting growth figures since cargoes re-routed due to port congestion eventually create extra load and discharge moves that are not indicative of actual volume growth on a specific trade lane.”

Source: Container News