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Bookings for South China inbound feeder services suspended

INTRA-ASIA container capacity is showing signs of tightening as some carriers suspend services and impose bans on refrigerated cargoes, citing quarantine restrictions, stronger-than-normal volumes, and a lack of reefer plugs at marine terminals

08 December 2020 - 19:00
INTRA-ASIA container capacity is showing signs of tightening as some carriers suspend services and impose bans on refrigerated cargoes, citing quarantine restrictions, stronger-than-normal volumes, and a lack of reefer plugs at marine terminals.

Cargo availability on intra-Asia trades is traditionally ample in the weeks leading up the Chinese New Year celebrations, when factories generally close. The 15-day Chinese New Year holiday begins February 12, 2021.



In a customer advisory, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said the Covid-19 pandemic has led to feeder services being suspended in southern China, including Hong Kong, from about January 20 to February 22.



A resurgence in the number of virus cases in Hong Kong and quarantine restrictions in China has led feeder operators reducing the number of ships and crews engaged in the trade.



The actual dates depend on the destination of the containers, with the ban effective from January 20 for cargo consigned to ports in Hainan and Guangxi provinces and January 25 to ports in the Pearl River delta economic powerhouse including Guangzhou, Foshan, and Jiangmen.



Ocean Network Express (ONE), in a customer advisory, also said it would not accept inbound shipments for onward transportation by feeder vessels from January 5 to February 26, with cargo not being accepted at the ports in the south China area and Fujian.



Under China's cabotage rules, foreign carriers have to use domestic operators for feeder cargo between Hong Kong or Chinese gateways such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou to smaller ports including Dongguan and Foshan.



Hapag-Lloyd said in an advisory it has stopped taking reefer bookings into Huangpu, one of Guangzhou's gateway ports in southern China, due to tighter customers' inspections and disinfection of food imports, causing port congestion.



The carrier also said it was suspending acceptance of fresh import reefer cargoes via Busan in South Korea to Tianjin in north China, on a shortage of reefer plugs due to stricter inspections for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), reports HIS Media.


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