Container volumes at eight of China’s top ports surged 25 percent to 16.8 million TEU in April from 13.4 million TEU in March as China’s manufacturers and consumers shrugged off the impact of COVID-19-related lockdowns across the country, according to Chinese government figures released this week.

The Transport Ministry figures show only Shanghai saw a month-on-month decline in April, the first full month of a city-wide lockdown that led to the closure of factories and the suspension of most trucking services.

The Shanghai lockdown has continued this month, although carriers, including Maersk and CMA CGM, said logistics and supply chains are gradually improving. Maersk said about 25 percent of warehouses have resumed operations, including facilities in Pudong, the area closest to the main port areas at Yangshan and Waigaoqiao.

CMA CGM, in an advisory Tuesday, said pressure on yard resources at the Shanghai container terminals is easing and vessel waiting times at Waigaoqiao have improved due to more labor being available.

Transport Ministry figures show month-on-month volumes at Shanghai fell 19 percent in April to 3.1 million TEU from 3.8 million TEU in March.

Other ports, including Ningbo-Zhoushan, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Qingdao saw substantial double-digit month-on-month percentage increases.

Container throughput at Tianjin rose 48 percent in April to 1.8 million TEU, while Shenzhen saw a 43 percent increase to 2.6 million TEU.

Ningbo-Zhoushan saw a 32 percent gain in volumes to more than 3 million TEU in April as shippers and cargo owners diverted boxes to the world’s third-largest container port to overcome disruption to trucking operations in Shanghai.

Other ports that saw double digit month-on-month volume gains in April were Guangzhou (35 percent), Qingdao (31 percent), and Xiamen (18 percent). Dalian saw a 7 percent increase.

For the year-to-date, Shanghai posted a 1.9 percent rise in volumes to 15.4 million TEU between January-April compared with a year earlier.

(JOC)