CHINA PRESCRIBES A 7-DAY QUARANTINE FOR SAILORS, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN ​​HAS BEEN MORE TROUBLED

China's determination to pursue the "zero Covid" strategy is posing an obstacle to the recovery of the shipping industry.

In an effort to stamp out the infection, China maintains a ban on crew substitutions for foreign crews when ships docked in China. Recently, China also introduced a mandatory 7-week quarantine for Chinese sailors returning home. Even the Chinese crews who had been replaced elsewhere had to wait two weeks before being allowed to disembark.

To comply with these regulations, shipowners and ship managers have had to divert vessels, delay deliveries and change crews, further intensifying the global supply chain crisis. "China's restrictions are having a pervasive effect," said Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Shipping Council (ICS), an organization representing ship owners and ship operators worldwide demand, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Any restriction on vessel operations affects the supply chain and leads to real disruption.”

To date, the shipping industry has generally absorbed the increased costs, thanks to container freight rates that are among the highest in history due to strong demand, limited capacity, and congestion at ports. port. For the weekend ending Nov. 18, the freight rate for a 40-foot container was $9,146, a six-fold increase from the five-year average through 2019. Tanker and dry bulk carrier freight rates also increased similarly.

The shipping lines also acknowledge that they respond to China's restrictions by shifting the burden on the crews working on the ships. Chinese authorities do not allow more than three Chinese sailors to board the same flight to the mainland, so the journey home for Chinese sailors can last for months after they have completed their duties. service and got off the ship,” said Mr. Hojgaard.

Chinese officials recently continued to defend the country's anti-Covid strategy and signaled that it would not ease regulations anytime soon. Meanwhile, the supply chain disruption in the shipping industry shows no sign of abating. According to a survey conducted by Oxford Economics of 148 businesses between October 18-29, nearly 80% said they expect the supply chain crisis to worsen.

"China is determined to eliminate Covid and will not ease restrictions anytime soon," said Mr. Zhang of Singhai Marine

"China may even tighten the rules before hosting the Winter Olympics in February next year."

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