Once again, the supply chain is watching China and the zero-COVID policy that slowed transportation to a crawl earlier this year. Currently, only Ningbo is experiencing severe disruption, but as more cases in Shanghai come back positive and more areas in the city are locked down, the delays will likely compound and hit hard. It’s time to make contingency plans if the lockdown stretches into multiple cities and goes longer than just the two-week mandatory minimum.
Besides Ningbo and Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhengzhou are currently experiencing delayed operations at ports and warehouses as social distancing reduces labor numbers. While some areas have ports exempted from the lockdown procedures, the manufacturing hubs, factories and transportation providers are very much bound by the rules that are in place.
If there is an upside to more cargo delays that will help drive the whole planet into a recession, the slowdown comes as fewer imports are hitting the water. Reductions in demand have led to blanked sailings and some carriers canceling entire voyages and rearranging services to maintain rates by altering capacity.
The relaxing of the equipment imbalance that choked the supply chain is also a benefit to shippers, though carriers are almost drowning under empty boxes that have piled up at terminals and railyards. The issue has become so pervasive that the FMC has declared the carriers must compensate shippers who are holding onto empty containers because the terminal cannot accommodate the return.
If you’re looking for a way to plan for the market disruption we’ve been weathering since well before the world went into a pandemic, your Edward J. Zarach & Associates representative has been navigating the complexities of supply chain management. By staying ahead of the curve and being flexible, and focusing on communication and visibility, we’re able to keep your cargo moving. Contact us today to learn more about how we keep cargo moving.