Shipping delays are back as China's lockdowns ripple around the world

Global shipping was just starting to recover from the chaos of the pandemic. Now port congestion and delays are back and could be around for a while. COVID lockdowns in China have wreaked havoc at Shanghai, the world's biggest container port, and are now causing problems at other major ports around the world. Some Chinese cities, including Shanghai, have started easing COVID restrictions in recent days, but experts say that the damage has already been done, and global shipping will suffer well into the summer. That could exert even more pressure on global supply chains already reeling from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and keep inflation running hot.

Data from Project44, which tracks global supply chains, showed that shipment delays between China and major US and European ports have quadrupled since late March, when China shut down the city of Shanghai, which has the world's busiest container port. By the end of April, ships from China to Seattle were taking four days longer than expected to arrive, up from about one day the previous month. The time it takes ships to leave China and arrive at major ports around the world increased steadily over the past year, but there had been some signs of relief since December with transit times between Shanghai and Long Beach, for example, dropping in January and February. Since March, however, there's been a sharp increase again in transit times on that route. To add to the problem, many truck drivers have struggled to reach ports in China to pick up containers because of travel restrictions and COVID testing requirements. Shipping giant Maersk warned in an advisory last month that trucking services in Shanghai would be "severely" impacted by these restrictions.

This is an excerpt from the CCN Business News article.