Covid Outbreak Impacts World Shipping

Covid Outbreak Impacts World Shipping

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COVID-19 Impacts in Shipping World Wide


Following our notification earlier this week regarding port closures in Yantian (Shenzhen, China), there have been further countries impacted by Covid-19 outbreaks that have placed restrictions that can cause delays/uncertainty to shipments.



Vietnam's business hub Ho Chi Minh City will begin social distancing measures for 15 days starting from May 31 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the government said on Sunday. 

“All events that gather more than 10 people in public are banned city-wide, but the city is considering to lower the number of people to just five," the government said.

State-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported Ho Chi Minh City authorities would conduct COVID-19 tests city-wide with testing capacity at 100,000 samples per day.

With other ports in Asia experiencing their own Covid-19 related restrictions this latest decision has the potential to further disrupt shipping lines from fulfilling their already impacted sailing schedules.




Malaysia will close all economic and social sectors by implementing a total lockdown throughout the country from 1st June to 14th June 2021.

Only essential economic and service sectors listed by the National Security Council will be allowed to operate during Phase 1 of the lock down. Services and operations of ports, shipyards, and airports – including loading, lattice transportation, cargo handling, and piloting and storage or bulk commodity are included in the list of essential services.

Whale will continue to monitor the situation in South East Asia and will keep you updated as further information becomes available and the resulting impact to any shipments.




The Shenzhen Port Closure is not only impacting South China but all Shipping ex-China.


Vessels are waiting outside Shenzhen Port causing delays for containers that have been collected from North & Central China regions. As each service is taking a different approach, the ETAs to Australia are very uncertain. 


Why my China shipments will be affected?

  • Vessel schedules and transit times are calculated based on a strict port rotation. So depending on the service, there might be vessels that come from Shanghai, Ningbo, etc stopping in Shenzhen prior to coming to Australia. If you ship from other China regions (that are not Shenzhen) you could be still be affected by delays/uncertainty. 

  • Similarly, if vessels omit Shenzhen port they might not be collecting empty containers, which can create extra pressure on the other  China ports.

What are we doing?

Our Australian, Vietnam, Malaysia  & China Offices are following on shipment status a few times per day as there is a lot of uncertainty in the situation, especially ex-China.

Please contact your dedicated Customer Champion and advise what Purchase Orders you need further specific updates.

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