In focus: Shanghai remains in lockdown causing further disruption in the supply chain

Shanghai, home to the biggest port in the world, remains in lockdown as Covid restrictions continue for the city. 

Shippers are now looking at alternative cargo options in the Far East as disruptions with trucking services in Shanghai are affecting global supply chains. 

Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE have announced that dangerous goods and refrigerated containers will be transferred to other ports for unloading instead of Shanghai. Exports have started to shift to Ningbo; however, the situation in that region has also worsened due to an increase in COVID cases. 

Businesses should communicate with their freight forwarding partner to understand whether their shipments are affected by the restrictions. 




  • MSC will be launching a direct service from South China to Chittagong due to the severe bottlenecks in regional transhipment ports. 
    • This weekly service will start on 27th April with a port rotation of:Hong Kong-Yantian-Shekou-Singapore-Tanjung Pelepas-Chittagong-Singapore-Tanjung Pelepas-Hong Kong.
    • This move will relieve the congestion and delays at transhipment ports in Colombo and Singapore as containers would be emptied at Chittagong after being boarded from China rather than at the congested transhipment ports. 
  • Guangzhou has become the latest port city to undergo mass Covid-testing. 
    • Testing began on 9th April and travel restrictions have been imposed. 
    • Although container terminals have been working normally, truck drivers are faced with delays as it is compulsory to show a 48 hour negative PCR test. 


Central China to USA and Europe

  • Shanghai is still in lockdown. Businesses should coordinate with their freight forwarding partners about whether this affects their shipments. 
    • Alternative warehouses outside of the area are available in Qingdao, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Wuhan, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Ningbo. 
  • Zhengzhou Airport has been affected by the lockdown in Shanghai as large amounts of cargo have been diverted to there from Shanghai. 
    • The airport also began a two week lockdown over the weekend, restricting travel and vehicle permits. 
  • From NGB Airport, many flights have been cancelled and the rate has increased. 
    • Please check your rates and bookings on a case-by-case basis.

North China to USA and Europe

  • The space in the air market from TSN Airport is tight, however, rates have decreased. 
    • Factories will resume to normal operations and orders will be ready in the market. 
    • This will put further constraints on space capacity on carriers. 
  • From PEK Airport, rates have decreased however, space is tight.
    • Neighbouring cities and provinces have been locked down and trucking services are limited.
    • Trucks are controlled whilst entering the Beijing areas, increasing lead times and temporarily suspending some journeys. 
  • Air China has reopened its direct flight to London Heathrow from 12th April. 
    • This has contributed to the decrease in rates, however, space remains tight.

South China to USA and Europe

  • CAN Airport terminals are busy and the wait times to get into the terminal have reached over 12 hours.
  • From SZX Airport, the market and rates remain stable.
  • From XMN Airport, freight has decreased due to the lockdown in Shanghai. 
  • All shipments need to be checked on a case-by-case basis.


  • Increasing container dwell times has prompted the US Transportation Secretary, Peter Buttigieg, to call on the railways to work harder to tackle backlogs. 
    • As mentioned last week in the Zencargo Market Update, average container dwell times at the Port of Long Beach increased from 3.5 days in January to 5.2 days in February. This has increased to 7 days in March. 
    • A lack of rail equipment at ports has contributed to the build up of containers. This includes locomotives and rail cars to chassis and labour resources. 
  • The Port of Long Beach has experienced its busiest March on record.
    • The port moved a total of 863,156 TEU in March 2022.
    • This was an increase of 2.7% compared to March 2021. 
    • Empty containers moving through the port increased by 10% at 321,691 TEUs.
    • Import containers increased by 4.7% to 427,290 TEU. 
    • Exports decreased to 113,185 TEU, a reduction of 18.3% YoY. 


  • Companies are considering other airports across Europe to avoid congestion at Schiphol and Frankfurt airports. 
    • Strong export demand is happening in France, Italy, Scandinavia and the UK and high volumes of transit cargo from the Asia Pacific region are arriving into the Benelux region.
    • This has increased demand for road feeder services due to the increase in volume of imports and exports. 
    • The situation is expected to intensify, with shippers considering alternative routes to avoid delays.
United Kingdom


  • The Port of Felixstowe will be implementing an ‘energy adjustment levy’ from 1st May. 
    • This will be £11.25 ($14.73) on all laden import containers and will be levied to the customs declarant. 
    • This announcement is a response to soaring energy costs in the UK and the removal of the red diesel duty subsidy from the government. Red diesel is used in off-road vehicles and machinery.


  • P&O ferry fails inspection as M20 closure continues beyond Easter
    • Another P&O Ferry at Dover has failed its safety inspection and Operation Brock (a system designed to keep traffic on the M20 and other roads in Kent moving) is set to continue until after the Easter weekend.
    • Concern mounts at Dover as the situation with P&O Ferries continues. The closure of the M20 is impacting queuing international hauliers as well as local CV operators.
  • DFT Relaxes Enforcement of Retained EU Drivers Regulation
    • The Department for Transport has taken the decision to relax the enforcement of the Retained EU Drivers Regulation in England, Scotland and Wales until 11:59pm on 8th May 2022.
    • This temporary relaxation reflects the urgent situation arising from the cancellation of some ferry services. This is resulting in congestion in and around ports affecting the carriage of goods and passengers by road.

European Bank Holidays

We anticipate a shortage of availability and the occurrence of delays around the bank holiday periods. Plan ahead and allow extra time for your products to be delivered.

April 22nd – BG, BA, GR, ME, RO, RS

April 23rd – BG, TR

April 24th – BG, GR, MD, RO, RS, UA

April 25th – BG, BA, GR, IT, MD, ME, PT, RO, RS, UA

April 27th – NL, SI


May 1st – AT, AD, BE, BG, BA, BY, CH, CZ, DE, ES, EE, FR, FI, FL, GR, HU, HR, IT, LU, LT, LV, MD, ME, NO, PT, PL, RO, RU, SE, SK, SI, RS, TR, UA

May 2nd – BG, BA, GB, GR, IE, MD, ME, RU, SI, RS, TR, UA

May 3rd – BY, PL, RU, RS, TR

May 4th – LV, TR

May 5th – EE, NL

May 6th – BG, DE

May 8th – CZ, FR, SK

May 9th – BA, BY, LU, MD, RU, UA

May 10th – BA*

May 13th – DK

May 17th – NO

May 19th – TR

May 21st – ME

May 22nd – ME

May 24th – BG

May 26th – AT, AD, BE, CH, DK, FR, FI, FL, NO, NL, SE

May 30th – GB, HR


*Not in all regions

The route ahead

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