The disruptions are likely to further delay shipping and damage global supply chains, which are already struggling to deal with record exports from China and the aftermath of local COVID-19 outbreaks.
Shanghai has halted some container port operations and will cancel most flights on Monday and Tuesday as Typhoon Chanthu approaches the city, which is the financial capital of China and is a major shipping hub.
The city’s container port, the largest in the world, has suspended certain container-related operations, Shanghai International Port Group said in a statement on its wechat account. While the tropical storm was expected to hit the southern part of the city on Monday night, the state-owned Global Times reported that the typhoon would not cross the coast, citing meteorologists.
The newspaper added that the storm strength will remain strong over the next two days. Chanthu on Sunday began pouring rain over the city of 25 million people after it hit the southern Chinese coast, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Ningbo Meidong Container Terminal Co. in neighboring Zhejiang province has suspended some container operations since Friday, the company said on its wechat account on Sunday. Operations at major quays in the province’s Zhoushan port – home to some of China’s largest oil tanks and refineries – have been halted since Saturday afternoon.
China’s Maritime Safety Administration last week issued a warning for the southeastern province of Fujian, where Xiamen port is located, in which ships are being asked to adjust their navigation plans and leave the waters affected by the typhoon.
The disruptions are likely to further delay shipments and damage global supply chains, which are already struggling to cope with record exports from China and the aftermath of local outbreaks of Covid-19. Asian ports have emerged as one of the bottlenecks for global trade, as European and American demand for goods overwhelms the capacity of docks and ships.
Shanghai’s terminals handled a total of about 43.5 million “TEUs” last year, making the city the largest container port in the world, according to the Shanghai International Port Group. TEU is an industry jargon for ’20-foot equivalent units’, the standard measure for container ship capacity. Officials of Shanghai International Port Group Co. could not comment. Calls to Ningbo Zhoushan Port Co. was not answered.
All flights will be canceled after 11:00 on Monday at Shanghai Pudong International Airport due to the weather, while all flights through Hongqiao Airport in the west of the city will also be canceled after 15:00 on the same day, according to an announcement by the Shanghai Airport Authority Sunday night.
The Shanghai government said earlier on Sunday that it would close all kindergartens and primary schools on Monday afternoon and Tuesday, while some metro lines were suspended and parks and other outdoor tourist spots closed on Monday and Tuesday.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, Zhejiang province has upgraded its emergency response to Chanthu to the highest level, closing schools as well as suspending air and rail services in several cities. Authorities have also suspended some speed services in the Yangtze River Delta, China’s state television reported Monday.
Taiwan lifted its warning Monday morning after the storm overtook the island.