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Shanghai Lockdown Consequence: China’s Shipping Business Sank to the Bottom

Measured by the volume of goods shipped, China used to be the largest shipping country. It also had a large fleet of ships and sailors. However, its zero-COVID and lockdown policy has ruined this business completely.

On February 24, the Shanghai Shipping Exchange announced that the Shanghai export container price index was $946.68 per TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), which has declined for 14 months, setting up the newest and latest low price since 2015. Online pictures showed that the Shanghai port has piled up a large number of empty, unwanted containers; so have the Shenzhen ports.

A veteran shipper said that China’s shipping is like a roller coaster ride. Right after the outbreak of COVID, the U.S. and Europe were trying to implement quarantines. The demand for China’s goods soared and the container price rose four or five times higher. However, since 2022, the U.S. and Europe returned to business as usual, but China has still been locking down, especially with the lockdown of Shanghai in April 2022. This dealt a fatal blowout to Chin’s shipping business.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 27, 2023