Nansha Port Emerges as Alternative to the Congested Yantian Port

In the Guangdong province of China, Yantian Port has now become infamous among the shipping lines for its container congestion. In the struggling hours of Yantian Port, the Nansha International container Terminal has surfaced as a possible alternative to Yantian.

Major shipping lines are canceling calls to Yantian because of the high waiting time for vessels to dock. Acting over the opportunity, the Guangzhou Port Company took initiatives at Nansha port to curb the risk of pandemic and presented Nansha as an alternative to Yantian. Vessel tracking data from FleetMon suggests that the congestion at Yantian has forced THE Alliance, a nexus of HMM, Ocean Network Express, Yang Ming, and Hapag Lloyd to swap calls from Yantian to Nansha. On 2 June 2021, THE Alliance made the maiden call to Nansha, the sub-port of Guangzhou with the berthing of vessel Al Zubara (19,870 TEU).

Guangzhou Port and THE Alliance are working together in developing the Nansha port as an International Shipping hub to present a faster shipping channel for businesses in the Greater Bay Area that covers Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong.

Container giant Maersk has said that they and their partners have omitted 64 planned calls for Shekou and Yantian due to the huge waiting period. The company official stated that some ships have faced a waiting of 16 days before docking at the terminal in Yantian Port. As per the report of container leasing and online trading platform CAx index, the availability index of 40Ft containers at Yantian and Shekou has fallen to 0.47 which is below the threshold of 0.5. It simply translates that more containers are leaving the port than coming in. Dr. Schlingmeiner of CDx has suggested that the container availability at these ports will not be improving any time soon as more container lines are canceling calls.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the supply chain has faced massive disruption and this has pushed the Yantian Port to its limit and has now presented Nansha with new opportunities. Sailing from East Asia to Europe via Nansha will provide convenient transit options to Northwest Africa. In the long term, these new transit options with African nations will boost business for Chinese companies because of the “Belt and Road” initiative of China.

Nansha handled 17.17 million TEUs in 2020 and this year the port has witnessed a massive growth of 81% (year-on-year) in the first five months itself. The growth rate tells the story of Nansha successfully emerging as a viable alternative to Yantian Port.

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