yantian port

FILE PHOTO: Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Guangdong province, China May 17, 2020. Picture taken May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Pollard/File Photo

China Tightens Restrictions Near Key Port Amid New Virus Cases

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January 10, 2022

By Ann Koh (Bloomberg) —

China tightened restrictions on vehicles entering Shenzhen, spurring concern that the delivery of goods to and from one of the biggest container ports in Asia at Yantian could slow.

The city, which shares a border with Hong Kong, has discovered four Covid-19 cases, triggering mass testing of residents and truckers, according to official state media on Monday.

One of the infections was a worker at an international logistics firm, prompting authorities to raise the possibility that the virus was transmitted via imported goods, the Yantian district of Shenzhen said on its website

China’s policy of swift and extensive lockdowns in response to even small outbreaks has repeatedly stopped the domestic spread of Covid-19, saving lives. However, concern is growing that the country will test consignments and logistics workers for the virus, a move that could add to delays in supply chains. 

Related Read: Port Trucker Snarl Hits Ningbo’s Container Terminal

Although the World Health Organization says there’s no evidence of people catching the virus from food and food packaging, China’s testing of foreign food shipments last year held up refrigerated containers at its ports for weeks. The Yantian port, which serves factories manufacturing everything from electronics to plastic toys, was partially closed in May due to a Covid-19 outbreak among port staff, leading to container goods piling up for a month.

Local media footage showed scores of local residents and workers queuing up at testing stations across Shenzhen over the weekend. The city has also suspended bus stations that serve incoming routes, and canceled some inter-provincial ferry services, according to notices from the city’s Transport Bureau.

suspension of trucking services in several parts of eastern China’s Zhejiang province to combat the virus has slowed the transportation of manufactured goods and commodities through another key port.

About 75% of trucking capacity at Ningbo — some 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) north of Shenzhen — has recovered, up from 10% last week, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said in a Monday advisory. Operational efficiency is being hampered by the requirement of Covid-19 testing, the shipping line said. 

–With assistance from Kathy Chen.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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