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Storage capacity of refrigerated cargo at Chinese ports grows by 40%

Date:2020-03-18 11:45:39   Source: Grand Union International Trade Co., Ltd.    Click:
Shanghai Port and Tianjin Port added a total of 7,000 refrigerated container power supplies, and expanded the refrigerated cargo storage capacity by 40%. Clearance of perishable products such as fruits and vegetables is preferred.

Congestion in Chinese ports has eased

Reuters reports that, according to official and industry sources, severe congestion in Chinese ports is easing. As of March 6, there were approximately 18,000 standard refrigerated containers (TEUs) waiting to be cleared in Shanghai and Tianjin ports, up from 27,000 in mid-February. Reduced. According to a Shanghai fruit importer, shipping companies are prioritizing clearance of perishable goods. Nonetheless, the detention of refrigerated containers has led to the disruption of some fresh and frozen food supplies and has pushed up freight rates outside China.

After China extended the Spring Festival holiday due to the epidemic and restricted free movement in cities across the country, thousands of refrigerated containers that transported meat, seafood, and fruits to China from around the world were stranded in Chinese ports for weeks. Due to a shortage of port personnel and insufficient truck drivers to transport cargo, refrigerated containers are either trapped in already crowded ports or re-routed to other ports in Asia, looking for places where power can be connected to refrigerate the cargo.

In recent weeks, China has begun to relax travel bans and provide funding support for companies to restart operations. Some ports have even hired trains to return truckers to work, enabling them to clear blocked containers. "There is a shortage of employees everywhere, berth workers, inspectors, truck drivers and downstream company personnel. But now things are much better and they have returned to work," said Zhang Ruxing, secretary general of the Container Branch of the China Port Association.

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd told Reuters that port congestion in China has eased, berthing operations have improved, and normal working conditions have resumed at the terminal. In addition, reefer power has been eased, and the company no longer has to move goods on a large scale. According to reports, Shanghai Port and Tianjin Port added a total of 7,000 refrigerated power supplies, which increased the storage capacity of refrigerated cargo by 40%.

The report also said that about a third of the diversions had been shipped back to China. An official from the Busan Port Authority confirmed that South Korean ports have accepted some of the diversions, but the number is declining.

However, although the port logistics and operation conditions have recovered, this deadlock has weakened the confidence of many exporters and importers, who have been waiting for port congestion to drop from about 80% to 50% before returning to normal traffic.

MaFrank Madsen, Global Director of Refrigeration and Marine Logistics, Danish BlueWaterShipping Shipping Company, said that because many containers are still trapped in Asia, shipping companies have cancelled some shifts, and severe imbalances in global reefer supply have also pushed up freight rates. He said that spot freight (or short-term freight) has risen by 200%, and it will rise further.

"We believe that space and equipment issues could last for four to eight weeks," Madsen said, noting that fewer ships leaving China also means that returning reefer containers is more difficult.

In February, the productivity of Chinese factories fell to the lowest level on record. Although more companies have resumed work in recent weeks, analysts expect that Chinese factory activities will not return to normal until April. At the same time, despite surging freight rates leading to higher prices, more containers are still being shipped to China, especially commodities such as frozen pork, which is in high demand. Pork accounts for about half of BlueWaterShipping's refrigeration business. After the epidemic, China ’s severe pork shortage has led to record levels of imports in recent months, further squeezing available space in port refrigerators.


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