Port congestions slow down container turnaround, keeps yard utilization low

Congestion in international ports has caused a slowdown in turnaround of empty containers and the subsequent low utilization of container yards, according to the Alliance of Container Yard Operators of the Philippines (ACYOP).

Empty container turnaround in ACYOP member yards has stretched to 15 to 20 days from the previous 10 to 15 days when key ports in the Asian region were fully operational, said ACYOP president Roger Torres in an email to PortCalls. ACYOP is formerly Container Depot Alliance of the Philippines.

Meishan terminal, which handles around 25% of the containers at Ningbo-Zhoushan port, has been closed since August 11 after a dockworker tested positive for the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant. Ningbo-Zhoushan port is the world’s third busiest container port and the closure of one of its terminals is also worsening congestion at other major Chinese ports where ships are being diverted from Ningbo port.

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