NINGBO Meishan Island International Container Terminal (MSICT) has been closed since 11 August when a worker there tested positive for COVID-19. Shipping lines have been omitting Ningbo and congestion off Ningbo-Zhoushan and Shanghai is on the rise.

Trucking of empty and full containers into and out of MSICT has also been suspended, as has warehouse operations at Ningbo Bluedragon Longfei.

Other terminals at Ningbo-Zhoushan are reportedly operating normally.

In an announcement, Maersk Line said a few vessels that call at MSICT have started to move to other terminals at Ningbo Port, but 2M alliance vessels mainly call Ningbo Beilun Container Terminal Phase 4. The company said the waiting time there is two days.

Shipping lines have been diverting cargo to other ports for transhipment. Some MSICT-bound cargo is diverting to Pusan, Hong Kong, Tianjin and other Ningbo termianls.

Data from Project44 showed that the number of weekly port calls to Ningbo-Zhoushan had decreased 22% from 188 containerships to 146 last week. This correlates with the volume of container cargo MSICT handles.

The data show that while ocean carriers are diverting to other terminals, blank sailings to Ningbo did not spike as they had following the Yantian Port closure in May. The Project44 data showed 15 blank sailings to Ningbo-Zhoushan on 17 August, which is in line with the average.