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Hundreds of Ships With Bulk Waiting for Chinese Ports

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Hundreds of cargo ships carrying bulk goods such as grain and iron ore are currently waiting off the coast of major Chinese ports. The queues for ships have grown significantly recently in the wake of the strict corona measures in China.


In addition, the country is struggling with an outbreak of the omikron variant of the virus.

To limit the spread of the virus, the metropolis of Shanghai went into lockdown last month. Later this area was extended to nearby Ningbo-Zhoushan. Shipowners are making frantic efforts to divert ships to other ports because of the shortage of port staff and truck drivers due to the lockdowns.

According to shipowners and traders, the shortage of dockworkers in Shanghai causes, among other things, a slower issue of documents that ships need to unload cargo. Meanwhile, ships carrying metals such as copper and iron ore are stranded off the coast because trucks cannot take the goods from the port to the factories where they are processed.

On Monday, 222 bulk carriers were waiting off the coast of Shanghai. As a result, the number of waiting ships increased by 15 percent in a month. In Ningbo-Zhoushan, there were 134 carriers, a fraction more every month. Further north, congestion in the combined ports of Rizhao, Dongjiakou and Qingdao increased by a third to 121 ships.

In the combined berths of Shanghai and Ningbo, 197 container ships were loading or waiting to be loaded. That represented an increase of 17 percent compared to a month ago.

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