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China lockdowns are not causing shipping chaos, say liner CEOs

It was predicted that China lockdowns would cause container shipping havoc. Six weeks into Shanghai lockdowns, it still hasn’t happened. Two liner CEOs — Maersk’s Soren Skou and Matson’s Matt Cox — explained why.

“The port [of Shanghai] is open and operating,” said Skou on Wednesday’s quarterly earnings call. Trucking and warehouse disruptions “are slowing things down somewhat and we are seeing an impact on our volumes out of China, but probably less than we would have expected.

“The purchase orders that our customers have issued in China don’t disappear because we have [a lockdown] so obviously they will come later. But right now, we don’t see a huge buildup of volumes because of the closedown in Shanghai.”

Cox reported during his company’s earnings call Tuesday that “the impact to Matson’s China operations has been minimal. Our terminals are receiving freight and managing empties and our ships are departing Ningbo and Shanghai on time.”

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