A COVID-19 outbreak near the Chinese port of Ningbo has disrupted operations, with new restrictions putting some terminals and services out of action.

The lockdown measures were brought on by a cluster of 23 COVID cases in Ningbo city’s Beilun district, reported earlier this week.

One of the world’s busiest container ports, Ningbo Zhoushan experienced similar disruptions in August 2021, which carried an onslaught of ramifications.

An advisory statement from Maersk confirmed that several container terminals in Ningbo are located near the outbreak area, though no positive cases had been reported in the terminals.

The specified terminals are Ningbo Beilun Container Terminal (NBCT), Ningbo Beilun Second Container Terminal (NBSCT), and Ningo Beilun Third Container Terminal (NBTCT).

Container load and discharge operations in these terminals are reportedly continuing as normal, and vessel call and departure times have not been impacted.

However, some terminal warehouse operations have been suspended until further notice, namely Ningbo Bluedragon LongXing warehouse.

Ningbo Bluedragon LongFei warehouse operations of inbound and outbound cargo remain open, though only for vessel calls at NBTCT and Ningbo Meishan Island International Container Terminal (MSICT).

Landside services outside the Beilun district have also been suspended as per the local epidemic prevention policy, though some areas have permitted the controlled operation of trucks.

Maersk has noted their intercontinental rail, sea-rail, and barge services are available as short-term solutions.

This week’s port disruptions follow an earlier wave of complications brought about by a worker testing positive to COVID-19 in August last year.

At the time, operations were suspended at the Meidong Container Terminal, which impacted the movement of cargo vessels, causing delays.

Other port services such as trucking and warehouse operations were also impacted, causing shipping lines to bypass Ningbo, contributing to congestion.

Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group yesterday held a meeting to discuss the group’s approach to minimising the current outbreak’s impact on port operations.

According to a statement from the group, the strategy involves strengthening COVID-19 prevention methods, prioritising the smooth operation of logistics services, and demonstrating leadership and care in overcoming the situation.

Disinfection and quarantine measures have been implemented by local authorities to prevent the Beilun outbreak spreading further.