If major transshipment ports remain congested or closed due to the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Cebu exporters’ shipments could be affected until Christmas, Philippine Export Confederation executive director said Inc. (Philexport) Cebu, Fred Escalona.

“The logistics crisis will certainly affect all shipments around the world without exception. If this problem persists until the third quarter, then all merchandise, especially perishables, will be affected until Christmas, ”Escalona told SunStar Cebu.

The majority of Philippine imports and exports pass through transshipment ports, some of which have reported traffic jams due to the pandemic.

“China and the United States have closed their major ports and could add more costs and challenges to global trade. Port closures are mainly due to Covid-19, ”Escalona said.

Lack of space for ships, skyrocketing freight rates and shortage of containers have resulted in shipping delays and huge losses.

“The logistics crisis is a global problem, and the Philippines will not be the only ones feeling the effects,” Escalona said.

He said the imported items that could avoid delays are e-commerce items shipped from, for example, Lazada, Shopee and other online shopping platforms.

“The volume orders that we import and export could experience delays if not made well in advance, subject to the availability of vessel space. Perishables will be a big challenge as they could arrive at a destination with high landings due to storage costs, demurrage, higher shipping costs and more expensive containers, ”he said.

On Wednesday August 18, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) urged Philippine-based importers and exporters to make the necessary operational adjustments, as delays in the delivery of goods loom due to the partial closure of several ports in China due to of Covid-19. .

The PPA said that in the past two weeks, several transshipment ports under China’s territories have slowed down their operations due to Covid-19.

The port of Ningbo, the third largest container port in the world, has closed one of its terminals for the seventh day in a row due to the virus, especially the Delta variant.

The PPA said early preparation is essential to reduce the negative impact of delays in their overall day-to-day operations, allowing them long-term flexibility.

Other major ports in the region have also reported traffic jams due to the effects of the pandemic. (JOB)

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