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Typhoon forces two of China’s busiest ports to suspend operations

The Shanghai International Port Group said in a statement that several terminals at the Port of Shanghai – the world’s busiest port by cargo volume – either stopped operating on Sunday evening or would do so on Monday in anticipation of Typhoon Chanthu.

The nearby port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the third in the world after Singapore, has also halted operations at some terminals, according to separate notices from those terminals.

Chanthu has weakened considerably since hitting the Philippines and later Taiwan over the weekend. At its peak, before making landfall in the Philippines, Chanthu was one of the most severe storms this year. Its sustained winds of 260 km / h (160 mph) were equivalent in force to a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane at its peak.

Although not as strong as it was a few days ago, the typhoon has already caused severe disruption in the Shanghai area as it approached. Shanghai and neighboring Zhejiang province have canceled most flights and suspended schools and rail service.

The disruption of the port comes at the worst time for world trade. Supply chains have been stretched to breaking point by a resurgence in consumer demand and shipping delays. A recent resurgence of the coronavirus in China has exacerbated a backlog of containers at major Chinese ports, contributing to the current crisis.

Last month, for example, a terminal at the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan was closed for two weeks after a dock worker tested positive for Covid-19. A shipping analyst at the time said it could take up to 60 days for port operations to return to normal.

The price of shipping goods from China to Europe and North America has skyrocketed, with companies reporting significant delays in receiving orders as they attempt to stock up ahead of the season end-of-year purchases.


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