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Shanghai airport terminal closure leads logistics firms to expect cargo delays

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One of the airport’s terminals, PACTL, closed due to the new cases, with around one-third of flights out of PVG airport affected. Before the closure took place, Shanghai Pudong airport was only operating at 33% capacity due to China’s quarantine measures.

Affected freighter flights won’t operate out of the Shanghai airport again until the area is considered safe due to “China’s zero-tolerance Covid-19 policy,”. China has implemented strict measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, leading to strains on already limited air cargo capacity out of the country.

“At Shanghai Pudong, for example, staff have been asked to work for seven days, quarantine in a hotel for seven days and then quarantine at home for a further seven days,”. As a result of staff quitting, long handling times (2-3 times longer than normal) have been recorded and some cargo flights have taken off with very little or no cargo over the weekend.

Logistics companies expect delays and longer transit times due to the suspensions. Shanghai Pudong International handles more than 3.1 million tons of cargo annually and “is one of the main loading nodes in China,” according to ShipHub. Mechanical and electrical products, along with automobiles, make up a large share of Shanghai’s exports in 2020.

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