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Typhoon Muifa to shut China ports for second time in 10 days

Another typhoon has prompted the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo to close for the second time in 10 days, with forwarders expecting a “ripple effect” of shipping delays.

Although weaker than Typhoon Hinnamor – which saw Shanghai, Ningbo and Busan all suspend operations last week – Typhoon Muifa is on a direct path to hit Shanghai tomorrow, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Norman Global Logistics (NGL) told customers Shanghai’s Yangshan container terminals were due to stop gate-in handling by 7pm local time today, while both Waigaoqiao and Yangshan terminals would be fully closed by 8am tomorrow morning.

Ningbo’s container terminals and yards were already closed this morning, NGL said.

A spokeswoman for Dimerco said Muifa was due to pass Shanghai in “no more than a day”, but added that inland trucking would be “dangerous” during the typhoon’s impact.

“Fleet schedules have been in a mess for a long time,” she added. “We don’t expect any remarkable impact, plus the market is super slow.”

However, CH Robinson said ships were already waiting two-to-four days to berth at Shanghai and Ningbo due to Typhoon Hinnamor, and noted the impact from Muifa “could be similar.”

Likewise, Shanghai-based Thomas Gronen, head of Greater China at Fibs Logistics, told The Loadstar “this one could have a bigger impact”.

He added: “We can expect at least two days’ impact on port operations, as the typhoon isn’t moving too fast, and then there will be an additional ripple effect towards the upcoming weekend departures.”

Shanghai and Ningbo are already dealing with increased berth congestion, too, according to Linerlytica.

It said: “Typhoon Hinnamnor is taking some time to clear out with the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo and Busan most badly affected of the North Asia ports.

“Ships that were diverted to the Qingdao anchorage in Bohai to avoid the path of typhoon Hinnamnor last week moved back to their scheduled windows at Shanghai and Ningbo, driving congestion at the two main eastern China ports to a record high of 885,000 teu [at anchorage] last Thursday.

“Although the queue of vessels has dropped to 500,000 teu by the end of the week, it will take another week before the ports work through the backlog of ships.”

Credit The Loadstar by Sam Whelan

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