Yantian port in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, resumed normal operations, helping stabilize electronics prices and alleviate supply shortages of commercial goods in many parts of the world, government officials and experts said. The world’s fourth-busiest container port resumed normal operations on June 24, following a monthlong cut in productivity caused by a Covid-19 outbreak. Coronavirus cases among dockworkers at Yantian Port have caused serious disruptions to the port since late May. Shipping companies, including Maersk, COSCO Shipping Lines and CMA CGM Group, have all warned customers that it would take several weeks to clear up the immense container backlog in the region that has put strains on global supply chains over the past four weeks. The impact of this congestion on China’s overall foreign trade is limited and controllable, said Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng, adding that the Guangdong provincial government has already taken effective measures to reduce shipping backlogs at its ports.
Yantian Port resuming normal operations will help restore the global supply of electronic consumer goods, electrical machinery, household appliances, medical equipment, auto parts and furniture, much of which is manufactured in China’s Pearl River Delta region, said Zhao Ying, Researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Industrial Economics in Beijing. As one of China’s major container shipping ports, Yantian Port handles more than one-third of Guangdong’s foreign trade and one-fourth of the country’s trade with the United States. The number of workers at the port has soared from 360 after the outbreak occurred in late May to the current 4,462, and all of the berths at its central and western areas where confirmed Covid-19 cases were discovered have resumed operations, with their total throughput reaching 33,000 TEU, Lawrence Shum, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Yantian, the operator of Yantian Port said. The terminal at Yantian serves 100 vessels per week. Its container throughput reached 13.35 million containers in 2020, up 2.13% year-on-year, accounting for 50.28% of the container throughput of Shenzhen’s port areas, the China Daily reports.