Update on Disruption to Yantian International Container Terminal Operations in South China (June 17 2021)

Please find below an update on the latest development in Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) and the overall situation in the Pearl River Area, South China.

Key Facts:

  1. The general situation in YICT is improving, with yard utilization dropping from 100% to 70%, and terminal productivity improving from 30% to 50%, according to the latest port advisory.
  2. According to a maritime consultants  tracking records (in week 23), 153 vessels have been impacted and 132 sailings to Yantian have been diverted to alternative ports.
  3. As a result of the ongoing diversions to alternative ports, (e.g. Nansha and Shekou etc.), the pressure is now building up in these ports. This has led to equipment shortages and extensive delays of  10 – 12 hours before gate-in in Nansha port.


  1. Despite the recovery in YICT, thousands of export containers are still waiting to be shipped. The 6 day  blockage of Suez Canal, in addition to the terminal closure of more than two weeks will continue to cause significant delays before reducing the existing backlog.  The long waiting times for berthing will also have an adverse impact on schedule reliability for a number of months.
  2. Continued port diversions are impacting the number of available import laden containers, which has led to a decrease in carrier equipment stock levels. Furthermore, the empty container imports into Yantian dropped by 19%, Nansha 16% and Shekou saw a 30% drop. Consequently, carriers are alerting customers of upcoming shortages of containers in the coming weeks, especially 40’GP and 40’HC.
  3. The restriction of personnel/transportation remains in place as quarantine policies have not been lifted. This has caused heavily constrained trucking capacity which has increased the cost of road freight by a considerable amount.
  4. Vessels are also heavily delayed, with an average waiting time of 12-14 days for berthing.