A daunting backlog of containers will now need to be cleared from Yantian. File Image / Pixabay
Congestion at Yantian, one of the key drivers of current unprecedented disruption in the global container freight market, is due gradually to start clearing as operations at the Chinese port return to normal.
Lockdown measures have been one of the main reasons for a slowdown at the port. But the authorities now see COVID-19 as 'effectively under control' in the area, Yantian International Container Terminals said this week, allowing all berths to resume normal operations.
"YANTIAN will continue to strictly implement epidemic prevention, control measures and promote production in a safe and orderly manner," the company said in the statement.
While operations at Yantian can now return to normal, disruption from its slowdown will continue to affect the global container market for several weeks. Container freight rates remain at record highs with demand outstripping supply around the world.
Ports reliant on container traffic for their bunker sales have seen buoyant volumes over the past year, while those without have seen a more prolonged downturn. Hong Kong's bunker market has benefitted from the Yantian slowdown in recent days, having just eased lockdown measures that effectively ruled out bunker-only calls there for most ships.