Hundreds of thousands of containers waiting to be exported have continued to pile up at the Yantian port in Shenzhen due to a COVID-19 outbreak, CNBC reported.

  • Logistics companies estimate that the backlog of 160,000 40-foot containers or 300,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The pileup can be seen from space.
  • The Yantian port was partly closed for three days last month after five crew of a docked ship tested positive for COVID-19. Additional cases have since been reported.
  • Several carriers have described the situation as deteriorating, but the port’s capacity has improved to as much as 60%. A waiting list is delaying operations due to the time to discharge and load. 
  • A logistics operator said port productivity is increasing, but the backlog could cause vessels to wait for additional days to dock in the port.
  • Experts caution that the delay could be detrimental to Christmas shipments, as peak holiday shopping is set to start in August. 

A number of exporters are expected to move to other ports, but some may stick with the Yantian port.