Shanghai container throughput ‘nearly back to normal’
Shanghai port is operating at 95.3% of normal capacity, easing fears of supply chain disruption as the city finally begins to lift its two-month lockdown
Daily container throughput – a key indicator of cargo-handling activity – is nearly back to normal, according to the transport ministry. Shanghai has begun to lift lockdown measures and shops have opened while people returned to the city’s streets.
However, operations are still being hampered by a shortage of trucking capacity, Bloomberg reported.
Even at the height of lockdown, Shanghai’s port – the world’s largest – kept operations running via a ‘closed loop’ system that saw workers living on site.
But a shortage of trucking capacity, as well as a slowdown in manufacturing operations, continually affected export levels.
Shipping consultancy Drewry is predicting the port will imminently have to process a backlog of cargo, equivalent to 260,000 containers, which it did not deal with in April when it prioritised other cargo.
“The Chinese lockdowns are hitting a global container distribution system that is already severely stressed and facing reduced capacity due to pervasive congestion,” Drewry said in a report. “Even if lockdowns were to end today, the predictability and capacity of the container distribution system would be jeopardised during summer peak season.”
However, while the Shanghai lockdown has caused widespread supply chain disruption, leading Apple supplier Foxconn reported that it has been less affected by the measures than anticipated, according to Nikkei Asia.
The tech giant warned investors sales could be hit by up to $8bn due to factors such as supply chain constraints.
“Covid is difficult to predict,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a conference call.
In contract, the current Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) indicated that China’s lockdown has had negative affects on industry, created factory stoppages across Asia.
Manufacturing slowed in countries ranging from Japan and Taiwan to Malaysia.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said: “Soaring inventories of finished goods in China suggest that, contrary to most expectations, recent lockdowns are likely to prove disinflationary domestically.
“The glut of supply in China is likely to weigh on export prices too.”