Yantian-port_from_above Credit Gigel.atat
Yantian-port_from_above Credit Gigel.atat.

Hutchison Ports says Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) in southern China lowered the cut-off time for receiving outbound containers since Wednesday, claiming delayed ship arrivals have caused containers to pile up in its yard.

YICT is one of three sub-ports that make up Shenzhen port, the others being Nanshan and Dachan Bay.

Shenzhen is China’s third-busiest container port, after Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan, and the fourth-busiest in the world. In 2020, Shenzhen handled 26.55m teu, up 3% from 2019, and YICT is estimated to have contributed 14.16m teu, up 6% year on year.

With just over a week to go before the Chinese New Year begins on 1 February, YICT said more containers were arriving at its yard, as exporters hurried to ship out their cargo before the week-long holiday.

“There are many laden boxes stuck in the terminal and yard density close to full,” said YICT, which is maintaining the gate-in quota at 12,000 laden containers.

Compounding the situation, Covid-19-related port congestion has interfered with liner operators’ shipping reliability, with YICT saying vessel arrivals have been delayed by as much as 170 hours.

Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said in a recent note that the congestion and bottleneck problems, which began in late 2020, are persisting because liner operator schedule reliability sank below 40% last year.

To hear more about congestion issues, listen to this clip from The Loadstar Podcast of Adam Compain of Project44.

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