Xinhua News Agency first reported authorities in Shanghai held a coronavirus prevention and control press conference on August 20, announcing that two cases of Covid had been identified among staff at Pudong. On August 21, three additional cases were detected, all whom worked with incoming international cargo planes.
In light of this, all international cargo flights and outbound converted passenger-to-cargo flights were suspended. It is not yet known when these operations will resume. Unloading of cargo was also delayed for all arriving cargo flights that were still in the air when the announcement was made.
The Pudong Airport Cargo Terminal has been temporarily closed and is currently not receiving any cargo. The planned re-opening date is yet to be confirmed.
Paris-based forwarder Geodis noted in a weekend advisory that airlines placed the hold on accepting exports because of concerns over serious congestion.
Geodis said forwarders have also stopped the clearance and cargo receiving at container freight stations until airlines can confirm 'the upcoming booked flights will operate with certainty'.
'We are not accepting any additional freight for transport to Shanghai up to and including August 27,' a spokesman for Lufthansa Cargo told IHS Media.
'Already received shipments will be transported on the remaining flights. As the situation remains volatile, further updates may follow.'
Cathay Pacific Cargo had to suspend all its freighter flights to and from Shanghai Pudong on August 20 when a single Covid case surfaced, forcing all 200 ground handlers to stay the same closed-loop hotel for 14 days.