Shippers Say Virus Testing Slows Clearing, Filling Chinese Ports to Capacity

Beijing, CH -- Stepped-up inspections of imported food for the novel coronavirus is clogging major Chinese ports, according to a July 18 report by Reuters.

Major shippers warned customers about additional fees and possible diversions to other ports.

“Import container pick-up activities have been severely impacted and as a result reefer plugs are highly utilized especially at the port of Yantian and Ningbo,” German shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd said in a notice to customers.

Reefers, which are containers used for meat and fresh produce, must be plugged so the contents do not get too warm.

Top container shipper Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) also told customers that it has been diverting cargo from Yantian port in the southern city Shenzhen because of limited reefer plugs.

Though it has only found the virus in a handful of samples out of more than 200,000 tested so far, China stepped up inspections of imported food last month after an outbreak of the coronavirus among people working at and visiting a major food market in Beijing.

To view the complete Reuters article, click here.

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