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Seafarers Heading Home Pose Next Risk to China’s Ship Traffic

  • Container lines stop new bookings to some smaller China ports
  • Feeder-service suspension longer this year amid Covid-19 rules
Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Chinese seafarers weary of the pandemic are returning home to celebrate the Spring Festival early next year, adding to a shortage of truckers and port workers in the country that’s compounding snarls in global supply chains.

Some of the world’s major shipping lines including Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd AG have stopped taking new bookings for container shipments to South China’s smaller ports, a decision prompted by a lack of feeder ships to haul the boxes amid a labor crunch, according to advisories sent to customers.