Will the Port of Long Beach Repeat the Disaster of “Ningbo”?


Staff Content Writer

August 16, 2021 • 2 minutes read

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Nowadays, the partial closure of a Chinese port, Ningbo, is expected to cause delays at the Port of Long Beach which has recently faced a backlog of ships during the busiest cargo months of the year. In addition, the shutdown at Ningbo has fostered concerns that the coronavirus, especially the Delta variant, could close down or reduce port operation. Will the Port of Long Beach go down the same road as Ningbo Port?Ningbo Port, the third-busiest port in the world, was halted on Aug.11 after a worker was tested positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. The terminal accounts for 25% of cargo that passes through Ningbo, and therefore the shutdown could severely impact cargo handling and shipping operations, according to security consultant firm GardaWorld.The shutdown is expected to cause further delays at Port of Long Beach which has struggled to keep up with a rebound of containers throughout the pandemic. Currently, there are about 34 container vessels anchored off the Long Beach coast waiting to be offloaded, according to an executive director of the port. “ A fresh surge out of Ningbo could mean even more ships sitting idle”, he added.When it comes to the concern of Delta variant’s outbreak, the executive director is confident that coronavirus poses a threat to port operation in Long Beach, as hospitalizations have spiked to 136, the highest point since February.“We do have concerns overall with regard to the delta variant, however, I do not believe it’s going to impact the dockworkers as we’ve seen in China,” the executive director said, citing the high vaccination rate, which is about 51% of the population in the U.S.

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