Chinese ports brace for Typhoon Kanu
Terminals are shutting down partly or fully to prepare for the impact of the big storm
Major box terminals in Ningbo-Zhoushan have halted empty container pick-up and drop-off operations, while some nearby feeder ports have suspended vessel handling and barge services
SHIPPING terminal services in eastern China have been disrupted as Typhoon Kanu bears down.
All major box terminals in Ningbo-Zhoushan — including the facilities in Beilun, Daxie and Meishan districts — have halted empty container pick-up and drop-off operations starting from 1600 hrs on August 3 local time, with the resumption time to be determined, according to port notices.
The same operations for laden containers will proceed as normal.
In nearby Jiaxing, a feeder port, ship handling at terminals on the sea side has stopped temporarily, with a suspension of all voyages put in place between August 3-5.
Some smaller ports on the Yangtze river have also been affected. For example, barge operations from Taizhou(Jiangsu) to Shanghai are expected to be out of service until August 5, according to a local freight forwarder.
Kanu is swirling over the sea about 300 km southeast of Zhejiang province, where Ningbo is located.
Odds are large that the typhoon will weaken and turn back towards Japan and South Korea in the next eight to 16 hours, but it is still expected to bring heavy rains to some areas of Zhejiang, weather forecasts show.
But the possibility that it will continue approaching or making landfall along the Chinese coast, which will cause bigger impact, cannot be ruled out yet.
Some carriers have already cancelled calls or warned of possible delays of schedule amid the uncertainty.
Shipping agents said many ships at northern Chinese ports are waiting for the typhoon to change course before heading south as scheduled.
July to August is the traditional typhoon season in the Western Pacific, during which port operations and shipping activities in the region are normally impacted to varying degrees.
Last week, the Super Typhoon Doksuri, which made landfall in Fujian province along the southeastern coast of China, even extended its influence onto the northern inland regions, with downpours and floods sweeping through Beijing, the surrounding Hebei province, and the nearby port city of Tianjin.
Freight forwarders have reported that Tianjin is currently implementing traffic control measures, resulting in the closure of multiple highways.
In addition, some districts and counties in Hebei are severely affected by the floods, clogging trucking transport in the region.
Analysts have seen an increase of congestion at Chinese ports and expect the level to remain elevated in the coming weeks.