Meishan Port area, a key port area of the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, resumed operations on Wednesday, after a two-week halt due to COVID-19. The resumed operations offered solace and optimism for smoothness and stability in the global logistics chain.
A total of 41 cargo ships are waiting to be docked and have their cargo handled at the Meishan Port area, with the port authority expecting 10-14 days to deal with the backlog of cargo handlings. The port is expected to become fully operational by Sept 1.
Meishan Port, accounting for one fifth of the cargo throughput of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port－one of the world's busiest ports－witnessed a cargo throughput of 4.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units from January to July, accounting for 21.9 percent of the total cargo throughput of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, according to the port authority.
"The global COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a shortage of shipping capabilities and empty containers, has led to congestion of major ports worldwide," said Liu Jianping, director of Ningbo Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export, on Wednesday. "The temporary halt of Meishan Port area during the past two weeks had left an impact on foreign trade firms in China, and some cargo ships were diverted to other ports in Ningbo."
As a result, cargo handlings of the nearby Chuanshan Port area between Aug 15 and Aug 21 reached 250,600 TEUs, an all-time high.
Ningbo-Zhoushan Port suspended all container services and ship operations in Meishan Port area on Aug 11, after a worker tested positive for COVID-19 during routine nucleic acid testing.
The stable operations of international shipments are vital to foreign trade, especially since COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc globally.
Foreign trade businesses have faced difficulties caused by the shortage of empty containers, the low efficiency of loading and uploading containers at some ports, and increasing prices for international shipments.
Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, which topped the world's annual cargo throughput for 12 years in a row, has been working to ensure smooth shipments of cargoes between China and the outside world since the novel coronavirus broke out, the port said.
Cargo handling at the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port has remained smooth despite the recent COVID-19 sporadic outbreaks in the nation. Data showed the daily handling of cargoes at the port between Aug 11-17 accounted for almost 90 percent of the daily container throughput in July.
According to the latest data from Zhejiang Seaport Group, the port's operator, container throughput at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in East China's Zhejiang province had reached 20 million TEUs this year as of 9 am on Aug 17. It was the first time the target has been met in August, as nine months were usually needed to handle such an amount.