Chinese authorities decided on April 5 to expand a previously limited lockdown in Shanghai and put the entire city of 26 million residents into quarantine. Shanghai became the largest city to go into lockdown since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The city’s port is the largest in the world in terms of container throughput, and the effects on global shipping were quickly felt.
As data pulled from Windward’s Maritime AI platform clearly shows, lockdowns in China are heavily impacting the congestion outside the country’s ports, as the number of container vessels waiting outside of Chinese ports today is 195% higher than it was in February.
The three images below show a 48-hour snapshot of container vessels waiting outside of China’s ports in April, during which Shanghai went into lockdown; March, which saw a Shenzhen lock down; and February, with no lockdown. The trend is clear – in the April and March snapshots, there were 506 and 470 vessels, respectively, stuck outside of Chinese ports. In February, that number was only 260. In essence, lockdowns in China have nearly doubled the congestion outside the country’s ports.
When looking at the global picture, between April 12-13, 2022, 1,826 container vessels were waiting outside of ports worldwide. That’s 20% of all container vessels globally! Equally interesting is the fact that the 506 vessels that were stuck outside of China’s port represent 27.7% of all vessels that were waiting outside of ports around the world. For comparison, in February, they represented 14.8%.
Windward will continue to monitor this situation and offer our data insights to help you better understand what is happening and plan accordingly.