Approximately 8.5 per cent of all shipping containers across the world have been stalled at various ports around the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This, according to the World Bank President, David Malpass, had contributed to the high prices of products, inflation in countries around the world, particularly in developing countries.
Speaking at the World Bank/IMF 2021 annual meetings press briefing monitored by norvanreports on Wednesday, Mr Malpass said there were currently steps being taken by the World Bank to help reduce the backlog of shipping containers stalled at ports adding that it would take time for the situation to be rectified.
“8.5 per cent of global shipping containers have been stalled at various ports around the world and this is twice the Bank’s estimate in January 2021. The situation has affected supply chains and resulted in increment in prices of products, food prices among others and it is going to take time for all these to be rectified,” he stated.
The grounding of shipping containers at major ports around the world has resulted in the surge of cost of products due to the high incremental port charges.
Throughout the world, prices of goods have shot up, for instance, the shipping cost of a container, from China to Ghana has increased from around $2000 in August last year, to $13,000 now per container, a 650 per cent increase.
This has resulted in increased prices of products in the country ultimately pushing up the country’s inflation.
China for the second time this year suspended operations at one of its key ports, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port because of the country’s zero-tolerance to Covid.
Analysts say China’s “zero tolerance” approach toward Covid will exacerbate already stressed supply chains this year with some warning that this may not be the last closure at a port as long as Beijing continues to take this stance.
Dawn Tiura, CEO of Sourcing Industry Group, an association for the sourcing and procurement industry, said China’s stance would lead to “severe” supply chain consequences.
Ningbo-Zhoushan is the third busiest in the world by container volume. In 2019, it handled 27.49 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container throughput, according to the World Shipping Council.
Container volume in 2020 rose nearly 5 per cent to reach 28.72 million TEUs.