The clogged reefer box movement appears a particularly big challenge as reported by carriers that have started to impose surcharges on such shipments.
Ports are under strain to hit throughput targets because of the impact of the virus, and are now forced to find solutions to increase traffic, according to an operating manager at one of the affected Chinese ports.
“The blank sailings have reduced vessel calls as well as the workload at berth,” he said. “Hence the spare capacity can be used to alleviate some pressure from the storage space.”
He added that some ports were even planning to add storage space by building new yards.