A few weeks into a very substantial port congestion in Yantian caused by a Covid-19 outbreak, supply chain disruptions continue to be very present in global trade.

After a six-day stop on export containers, the Yantian Port Authorities have announced that productivity is gradually set to increase as more workers return and more berths reopen, but the damage has already been done. The current estimated wait is over a fortnight, causing many carriers to divert vessels to other ports. In total, over 300 sailings from all liners will omit Yantian and for Maersk, 19 of our mainline services have been affected.

Fighting to get reliability back into operations and services back on schedule after the Suez incident in March, the port congestion in Yantian, with neighbouring ports Shekou and Nansha also affected, is an added pain at a time where global supply chains are already stretched.

The new normal

The trend is worrying, and unceasing congestion is becoming a global problem. Due to Covid-19 and a significant volume push since the end of last year, terminals are becoming global bottlenecks, be it at berths, yards or gating out cargo, and it’s continuing throughout the logistics chain – in the warehouses, the distribution centres – with numbers on the rise.

The most prominent bottleneck right now is Yantian given the sheer size of it, with it being the third largest terminal in the world, but still there are many other ports where a one- or two-day wait is becoming the norm, even if arriving on time.

Choosing a partner that can provide end-to-end supply chain visibility, along with multiple flows to market and a controlled asset network, becomes more and more crucial. We are working around the clock to alleviate customer pain points and do not hesitate to reach out to your local Maersk representative and learn what we can do for you and your business.

Managing supply chains accordingly

To mitigate impact as best as we can and give you as much visibility into the situation as possible, we have outlined our action plan for the rest of the month here. To this date, with the information currently at hand, we believe this to be the best course of action. In releasing this information, we hope you have enough time to manage your supply chains accordingly, which is of the utmost importance to us. Identifying possible issues early on will make it easier to react quicker and make decision based on data versus time.

Please also note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub. Click here to login to the Hub. To infuse even more visibility into your supply chain, Maersk offerings such as Maersk Flow and TradeLens provides consistent and holistic views of current shipments and corresponding documents for improved task execution and planning.

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