Operations on the world’s largest port have been halted due to a single positive case of COVID-19. The 34-year-old dockworker initially tested negative on 8th August but later returned a positive result, sparking a swift closure of the affected terminal and concerns about unprecedented volumes of tankers, bulk carriers and containerships backing up outside China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port.
It is unknown whether transmission has occurred, and with China’s zero-tolerance response to containing COVID-19, shipping uncertainty is growing. If the outbreak does spread, we could see similar impacts or more significant implications to the partial lockdown of ports surrounding Yantian. The restricted operations resulted in a 70% reduction of output and some vessels waiting for more than a week to reach a berth, the impacts of which were felt worldwide.
Since mid-July, community transmission has been detected in China, and mass testing operations have been rolled out across the country. In addition, particularly swift action has been taken on strategic locations like shipping ports, making it difficult to predict the future of Ningbo Meishan port and the extent to which delays and congestion will transpire.
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