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If you’re planning to order gifts for the holiday season, you might need to start purchasing your items now, as a recent Covid-19 outbreak in Guangdong, China, has caused significant congestion at four major ports in Yantian, Shekou, Chiwan, and Nansha.
Nils Haupt, communications director at the German shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd, said that Yantian, “one of the biggest ports in China, has basically closed down for close to three weeks.” He continued, “They have some berths in operation, but nowhere near enough.”
James Baker, the container-shipping editor at the industry publication Lloyd’s List, said that retailers were early when putting in orders for the holiday season due to their knowledge of the recent Covid-19 outbreak and slow shipping, which has led to further disruption.
“Traditionally, the peak season for container shipping starts in the third quarter as everyone stocks up for the holiday season in the west, but this year we’re just in a permanent peak season already, and heaven knows what’s going to happen come August or September, it could get crazy,” he said.
Baker closed by saying that he expects shipping delays to continue for at least another year. Until the issues resolve, consumers in North America and Europe are expected to wait longer than usual to receive their international orders.
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