China shipping: Ningbo-Zhoushan Port reopens key terminal after partial closure due to coronavirus
- Ningbo-Zhoushan Port handled almost 1.2 billion tonnes of goods in 2020, but was forced to close a terminal two weeks ago after a worker tested positive for Covid-19
- Meishan terminal handles a fifth of the container volume at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and the hold-up forced ships to other Chinese ports
China reopened a key terminal at the world’s third-busiest cargo port on Wednesday, after a shutdown to control the coronavirus caused major backlogs elsewhere and worsened already extended delays caused by the pandemic.
The terminal handles a fifth of the container volume at Ningbo-Zhoushan and the hold-up forced ships to other Chinese ports, which were left facing their worst levels of congestion in seven years, reported Chinese media outlet Caixin this week.
The closure added stress to an already stretched global shipping network, with soaring demand for goods from Western consumers in the pandemic piling pressure on Chinese exporters who face strict domestic virus controls.
Ningbo-Zhoushan Port handled almost 1.2 billion tonnes of goods in 2020.
But Ningbo authorities said late on Tuesday that restrictions will be lifted from Wednesday morning.
“All units in the zone must comprehensively do a good job in epidemic prevention and control, as well as resumption of work and production,” said a notice republished by state broadcaster CCTV.
Businesses should also prioritise the loading and unloading of stranded trucks, the notice added.
Chinese port workers are routinely tested for Covid-19, and the affected worker had been fully vaccinated. It remains unclear how the member of staff contracted the virus.
China has been battling a resurgence of Covid-19 in recent weeks caused by the highly infectious Delta variant, but strict lockdowns and mass testing has helped push new case numbers back down.