Disruption to shipping could delay Christmas orders

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Disruption in the global container shipping industry shows no sign of being resolved quickly and could lead to shortages in the run-up to Christmas, say industry experts.

An outbreak of Covid-19 in Guangdong province in southern China has caused acute congestion at the region’s ports.

As a result, shipments have been delayed, exacerbating tensions within global supply chains.

And the knock-on effects could take many months to resolve.

The problems in Guangdong are just the latest in a series of severe setbacks for the industry. Shipping firms have been struggling to cope with dramatic fluctuations in demand triggered by the pandemic, as well as the consequences from the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.

The global nature of the sector, and the lack of spare capacity within it, means that problems in one region can have ripple effects around the world for several months.

Agencies

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