Evidence of a return to normal for Chinese ports just days before the end of the New Year holiday festivities and a month after the coronavirus outbreak.
Yesterday, in fact, the news that Ningbo, the world’s third largest container port, called 7300 container truck drivers back to work.
The port of call, which can count on the availability of 21,000 container trucks and 25,000 registered drivers, is starting to work at full speed: to date, more than 3,000 containers per day are loaded onto trucks in its terminals, 2400 more on average than the 600 that were handled during the holidays.
Although the virus containment measures are beginning to work, it will take some time before the shipping industry can make up for the damage caused by the many blank sailings that the shipping companies have used in recent weeks to curb the negative effects of China’s economic slowdown.
The consultancy firm Sea-Intelligence estimates that 1.7 million TEUs are at risk for container shipping i.e. 1% of the global total recorded in 2019.
Translation by Giles Foster