Strict Covid lockdowns in several Chinese cities and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has shipping experts predicting the international container crisis is unlikely to improve soon.
“Global fret ensues as several cities in China go into strict lockdown, including Shanghai and Shenzen,” according to a statement by container logistics service xChange.
“This will further reduce capacity and cause a surge in already inflated shipping prices. The shockwaves will be felt across the US, and almost everywhere in the world,” xChange CEO Johannes Schlingmeier said.
Some analysts are speculating it is practically impossible to get containers out of ports in Shanghai and Shenzen, which are among a number of major Chinese ports that have gone into lockdown.
According to reports last week, there were more than 300 cargo ships queued at Shanghai’s port waiting to be loaded or unloaded.
The impacts are being amplified by shipping disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, which is entering its 10th week.
“Global sanctions on Russia have begun market and operational disruptions for the shipping industry,” the xChange statement says.
“Divestments in Russian commodities, delays and diversions of Russian vessels and restrictions on port access have affected major ports and slowed down trade, not only in Russia and Ukraine, but around the world.”
Improvement in Vietnam
Distributors and bike retailers battling long-running supply restrictions received some good news from Vietnam, which has relaxed its previously strict COVID containment measures, according to a report in Bike Europe.
Visitors entering the Southeast Asian country now only need to show a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, the country’s Health Ministry announced, saying the new measures were effective immediately.
“The opening of the border will certainly help to ease the supply chain situation,” according to the chief of sales & marketing of bike seat manufacturer DDK-Group, Joy Sung. DDK operates multiple factories in Vietnam and invested €7 million (A$10.43 million) last year in fully automatic saddle production.