The COVID-19 crisis which has been the epicentre of the EU is leading to shipping container shortages and goods, which is expected to worsen as China imposes more restrictions concerning incoming vessels, to boost its coronavirus safety measures.
Bloomberg reports that unloading holdups in China and delays on the return of vessels when the outbreak was largely limited to Asia has left shippers waiting for hundreds of thousands of containers to move their products. As the virus has gone global, the port of Fuzhou has implemented quarantine measures to ships from countries including the U.S. for 14 days.
In addition, a Bloomberg report revealed that the availability of cargo containers at the ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe and Long Beach and Los Angeles in the U.S. are at the lowest levels recorded.
Port of Los Angeles further announced that its February imports marked a decrease of 22.5%, to 270.025 TEUs compared to 2019.
In the meantime, it is stated that Canada is struggling, as they don’t have enough shipping containers to export some of its pea and lentil crops and exports are running as much as two months behind after 30 vessels from China canceled their sailing to Vancouver since January.
The legumes, used in everything from vegetarian cooking to packaged food, are in high demand as buyers stock up on dry, packaged goods and about one-third of the Canadian crops rely on containers to ship.
Concerning Canada, Mark Hemmes, president of the Edmonton, Alberta-based Quorum Corp, a company hired by the federal government to monitor Canada’s grain-transportation system commented that
Hopefully with China starting to start up its production this will correct itself in the next number of weeks.
Moreover, another food manufacturer commented that getting certain spices, like curry from Thailand, was taking longer than normal by about a month. Similarly, Brazilian coffee sellers have been struggling to secure forward bookings due to the shortage as many containers leaving to China aren’t returning.