China’s biggest city Shanghai began a two-stage lockdown Monday as authorities attempt different strategies to maintain growth, while trying to control the country’s worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic began.
The city of 25 million people will first lock down areas east of the Huangpu River, which includes its financial district and industrial parks, for four days starting on Monday. Then the lockdown will shift to the city’s west for another four days, according to a statement released on Sunday from the local government.
Residents will be barred from leaving their homes, while public transport and car-hailing services will be suspended. Private cars will not be allowed on the roads unless necessary.
This includes Pudong, and forwarders said they expected factories to suspend manufacturing, while transport to-and-from the airport and container terminals would be severely limited.
A Chinese Freight Forwarder, said it would be “nearly impossible” to access Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG), Yangshan and Waigaoqiao container ports and any surrounding warehouses.
“We are seeing major trucking bottlenecks and restrictions not only in Shanghai, but in other cities too,” he has said.
“For ocean freight shipments over the next nine days, we are recommending clients use Ningbo port, especially for LCL shipments that need to go through a CFS.
“PVG airport is still operating as normal – PVG and most co-loaders recalled part of their staff to stay at the airport. However, magnetic inspection service will be stopped until 1 April.”
Furthermore, he warned, the lockdown may well be extended beyond 5 April if more Covid cases are uncovered. The current spike is apparently the highest since the virus emerged in Wuhan two years ago, leaving question marks over the long-term viability of Beijing’s strict virus control policies.
Vespucci Maritime’s Lars Jensen pointed out that the disruption comes on top of the Shenzhen fallout from the last few weeks. The South China city is still facing issues, including limitations for cross-border trucking with Hong Kong.
Other parts of China are also suffering cargo disruption due to Covid restrictions. In Beijing, for example, the time limit for trucks from other regions to enter the capital has been extended.
“Due to the reduction of market demand, some airlines have reduced their flight capacity, and we expect the air rates ex-Beijing to rise this week,” The Freight Forwarder has said.
Information sourced from here.