- Lockdowns cause headaches for logisticians
- Social credit for companies: details still unknown
- Russia’s war and the railway Silk Road
- Green light for self-driving cabs
- Weibo tracks users
- No more tariffs on coal imports
- Hong Kong postpones trial of activists
- Johnny Erling: online mockery as outlet of lockdown frustrations
Container congestion at Chinese ports has been a major concern for European logistics companies for several months. Due to the lockdowns of Chinese coastal cities, more ships are once again awaiting processing, as Christiane Kuehl reports. Analysts already call these container ships floating warehouses. European port operators expect even more chaos in 2022 than in 2021. Because these disruptions also cause containers to pile up in Europe.
China’s social credit system also causes headaches for foreign companies in the country. Two years after its gradual introduction, many details of the system are still unclear. For example, environmental, customs and tax data are gathered, but no one knows if, or how they are interlinked. There is no uniform national system. German companies also fear data theft and their competitors, Marcel Grzanna reports.
Frustration is rising in China over Covid lockdowns. Anger at authorities for locking up hundreds of millions of people, food and medicine shortages. All this is being vented, especially on the Internet. And surprisingly, Beijing is letting some critical posts slip through the censor cracks, Johnny Erling writes in his column. Mockery and political jokes on social networks provide an outlet for people to blow off some steam.
Ships are again piling up at ports
They’re back: The infamous cargo ship jams that have repeatedly disrupted global supply chains since the pandemic began have reappeared off China’s coasts. Last Wednesday, 230 ships anchored at the shared roadstead off the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On Thursday, ship tracking website Vesselfinder already classified 296 ships as “expected” off both Ningbo and Shanghai’s ports yesterday. Some are being diverted to Shenzhen, causing ships to pile up there as well.
Shanghai’s ports continue operations in a “closed-loop” system, but are isolated from the city (China.Table reported). Truck access is severely restricted. Containers currently wait an average of 12 days before being picked up via truck, according to Bloomberg. Perishable and hazardous goods are not handled at all. Conversely, export cargo does not enter the port at all.
Container ships become floating warehouses
Experts point to Shanghai’s enormous share in global goods traffic. The port processes numerous high-demand products. “Major export industries in the municipality include computer technology, automotive parts and semiconductors,” says Chris Rogers, researcher at digital freight forwarder Flexport. For computers and auto parts, Shanghai handles just over 10 percent of Chinese exports each. For semiconductors, Shanghai’s share is as high as nearly 20 percent. “Therefore, the bottleneck is a serious problem for exporters of all these goods.” The US and Europe are starting to see shortages, Rogers told China.Table. “Goods that people need are stuck on ships that are already being called ‘floating warehouses.’” From Asia to Europe, a ship now takes about 120 days instead of the usual 50.