Some shipping companies are suspending services in China ahead of the new year, further straining global supply chains heading in to 2022.
The potential disruption this year is exacerbated by two factors: This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1, 2022 — a full 12 days earlier than in 2021. China’s Covid-zero policy has sailors anticipating longer than usual quarantine periods before they can make their way back on land. In some cases, the outlet found, sailors were required to serve up to seven weeks in quarantine before being cleared to return home.
The new timeline is being especially felt in China’s southern manufacturing hub, where independent shipping providers service the region. Many — which would have typically taken off around two week before Chinese New Year in a pre-pandemic climate — have already begun winding down business for the year in anticipation of the holiday.