China’s ports and shipping firms are bracing for a second wave of supply chain disruptions that may be deeper and more prolonged than during the country’s coronavirus lockdown as the global spread of the virus chokes off international demand, reported Reuters.
With Beijing reporting only sporadic domestic transmission of the coronavirus since March, workers have been allowed to return to posts, factories are restarting and ports are rushing to clear a backlog of cargoes.
But with virus outbreaks now overwhelming healthcare systems and shutting logistics channels in other major economies, exporters and industry analysts warn that global demand for products made and shipped out of China looks set to plunge.
“We expect the near-term impact on trade growth in coming quarters likely to be the worst ever, as economies stall and external demand faces imminent collapse on large scale quarantine measures across major economies,” said Rahul Kapoor, vice president at IHS Markit. China’s container processing volumes fell 10.6% in the first two months of 2020 compared to the year before, while exports dropped 17.2%.