Important updates – Terminal closure in Ningbo, China and Astronomical Trans-Pacific freight rates

Attention: Shipping Manager

  • Terminal closure in Ningbo, China due to COVID-19

We have been advised of a COVID-19 positive case detected at the Meidong Container Terminal in Ningbo, China. Consequently, the terminal has been closed and all its’ operations have been suspended since Wednesday 11th August 2021.

Meidong Terminal is part of Ningbo’s newest and largest terminals, with an annual capacity of 7 million TEUs and it is used regularly by major carriers. The closure of this terminal will reduce Ningbo port’s productivity significantly. Furthermore, the Ningbo Meishan free trade port area was also closed, which led to the closure of many warehouses in the area. Ningbo was already heavily congested with dozens of vessels waiting at anchorage due to the severe impact of typhoon In-Fa earlier last month and the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions at the port.  This sudden suspension will further stretch the already strained operations at the port.

Consequently, vessel schedules and container operations at the terminal will certainly be affected, and major delays in planned sailings are expected. We would suggest that if you have orders to move from this area, that you let us know about these as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.

  • Astronomical increase in Trans-Pacific freight rates

The unprecedented demand for container shipping continues to surge, especially as we are going into the peak holiday season. However, there is extremely limited capacity from carriers to meet this high demand. As a result of this imbalance between supply and demand, freight rates have been continuously inflating and reaching record-high levels. Spot rates on the Pacific trade (China – USA) from one of the major carriers are expected to rise to US $20,000 per 40’ container mark by the middle of this month. Rates are expected to increase even higher during the next few months.

We will keep you updated with further information as it comes to hand.