Several vessels will be “omitting Shanghai” due to a shortage of available container space at the port

Strict measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Shanghai are exacerbating disruption to already strained supply chains, with shipping and logistics firms warning of diverted cargoes and container congestion at major ports. 

Shanghai has experienced by far its largest outbreak of the Omicron variant, prompting strict virus containment measures from the city’s authorities.

A total lockdown was imposed on 5 April, and though restrictions are already being relaxed slightly, the full impact on trade is still unfolding. 

Shipping giant Maersk is among those warning that disruption at Chinese ports - in particular those around Shanghai - will cause further disruption to supply chains and logistics over the coming weeks.

In an advisory on 15 April, the firm said it would stop all new reefer/dangerous cargo bookings until further notice. Its Ningbo office will remain closed.

It has also warned that cargoes will be diverted and that “several vessels will be omitting Shanghai” due to a shortage of available container space at the port, particularly for specialist and refrigerated cargoes. 

“Due to the impact of the lockdown, we have seen an increased yard density for dangerous goods and reefer containers in Shanghai terminals.

“We recommend customers, when possible, to ship or divert the cargo to other Chinese destinations or other markets in order to avoid the congested port.”