The Federation of European Private Port Companies and
Terminals (FEPORT) is warning of a coming flood of cargo when the COVID-19
lockdown in Shanghai finally ends.
The COVID lockdown in Shanghai has been particularly strict.
Local authorities have implemented neighborhood-by-neighborhood shutdowns with
daily testing, in-house confinement and limited opportunities for movement -
even for basic daily needs like food shopping. The disruption has had
far-ranging effects on logistics in one of the world's busiest manufacturing regions,
and drayage to and from the Port of Shanghai has been heavily disrupted, though
the port complex is still staffed and continues to operate.
Based on data from VesselsValue, over 700 ships (of all
kinds) are stuck waiting to load at the world's busiest container port, sitting
at anchor until terminal operations pick up again. Many of these ships will
head to Europe once they're full, and they will likely arrive en masse in 2-3
months - with "tremendous" cascading effects for European supply
chains, FEPORT cautions.
“It is very urgent to anticipate and get organized.
Stakeholders representing shipping lines, port authorities, seaport terminals,
shippers, freight forwarders, pilots, tug operators, inland transport
operators, rail operators, road transport operators, etc. should very soon
gather under the patronage of the EU Commission to discuss how we can
individually and collectively prepare to avoid a 'nightmare' for EU logistics
and supply chains, otherwise EU consumers and businesses will be penalized,"
said FEPORT Secretary General Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.
According to DW, nearly one third of the goods that would
normally leave Shanghai are delayed due to lockdown. When factoring in factory
and warehouse closures, there may be a flood of goods heading to Western
consumer economies in the months to come when the backlog is released. Supply
chain expert Vincent Stamer told DW that up to 5-8 percent of the trade between
China and Germany (Europe's largest economy) is now delayed.
"EU seaports terminals (employers and employees) cannot
be once again the 'buffer' absorbing all the shocks and pressure that will
result from the situation prevailing in Shanghai. We need commitments from all
parties to act in order to adapt to the situation that will affect European
ports in 8 to 12 weeks from now," concludes FEPORT Secretary General.