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China freight market update

The critical Chinese port of Ningbo has returned to normal operation, while trucking operations in Shenzhen and Tianjin are now facing interruptions, due to COVID testing of drivers and Hong Kong air crew quarantines have slashed air cargo capacity.

The Lunar New Year festival falls on the 1st February, with a 15-day festival in China and factories across China will begin to close from next week, with some closed up to the 10th February.

If you have not already done so, we would urge you to speak with your Asian vendors, so that you are aware of any potential impact on your orders.

Most major ports and airports are operating normally, although quarantine measures imposed on flight crew by the Hong Kong government, in response to the increase in Omicron cases, mean that cargo freighter capacity out of Hong Kong will reduce significantly throughout the 1st quarter, with some airlines announcing an 80% reduction in capacity, cancellation of flights to Europe and only a couple of flights a month scheduled to the US in the 1st quarter.

Factories in all areas will begin to close from the 25th January, so that workers can travel home for the extended China New Year (CNY) holidays, with an estimated 80% of factory capacity expected to close in Qindao, Dalian and Tianjin from next week and transport will get tighter, regionally, as drivers take holiday leave

Qingdao / Dalian
Normal operations for local transport/ocean/air.

There are several local restrictions for transport and movements due to COVID measures and drivers need to take tests to enter Beijing and Tianjin,

No restrictions to airport or sea port operations, but they are struggling with low efficiency, due to the impact of COVID-safe working restrictions.

The Tianjin/Xingang port terminal area is open, but there are restrictions for drivers, delaying transport in and out to the port area.

The COVID restrictions that had been in place, since the temporary lockdown in Beilun district have been lifted and the local situation is near to normal.

Local transport is operating again, but the situation will get tighter, as drivers begin to leave for extended China New Year Holidays, starting this week, limiting capacity for cargo.

Many vessels are likely to delay from one to three weeks, while MSC announced a delay for about one month to some sailings.

Many workers will leave for extended China New Year holiday, starting from the end of this week, with many factories closed already from next week.

Normal operations for local transport/ocean/air.

Many workers will leave for extended China New Year holiday, starting from the end of this week. Most factories closed already from next week.

Parts of Shenzhen are currently affected by COVID measures, which are contributing to delays for local transports.

The port and surrounding CFS are open, but to enter, drivers are required to pass a 48hours Nucleic acid test.

This is the last week before the holiday closure to handle ExWorks arrangements and deliveries to port.

LCL – Pandemic measures require 2-4days pre-booking appointment to get a delivery window to CFS warehouses.

FCL – Peak time at the terminal for this week and terminal still control -7 day before ETB gate-in, while carrier ETB is unreliable and subject to change without prior notice.

Air transport rates have softened to Europe and USA during January.


Some factories close late before the holiday, many factories start to close from the coming weekend.

NOTE REF PICTURE – We are trying to confirm reports that, due to ongoing congestion, Yantian port has restricted access to export containers to -3 days to vessel ETA.

Normal operations for local transport/ocean/air.

Most local factories will close from next week, 24th Jan, for the extended China New Year Holiday,

If you have urgent shipments, questions or concerns about the impact of CNY, please EMAIL Colin Redman, our managing director, for support and assistance.

Wishing you Happy New Year and good health – 祝您新年快乐,身体健康