Shipments through the ports of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Yantian are expected to be subject to major disruption during the next week or more, as millions in China go into lockdown following an outbreak of coronavirus cases. 

Covid cases in China have tripled, after a surge in infections in the Northeast, and tighter controls have been imposed on access to Shanghai, as the country battles its worst outbreak for two years.

Although infection numbers are relatively low, the authorities are enforcing a “zero tolerance” strategy to find and quarantine every infected person, and in some cities the residents have been told to stay at home. In Shanghai, China’s most populous city, the number of cases rose by 15 to 432.

Cases doubled nationwide in one day this weekend to nearly 3,400, prompting measures that threaten half of China’s gross domestic product.

Shenzhen tightened management of cross-border shipping as neighbouring Hong Kong reported 26,908 cases and 249 deaths Monday. Shanghai suspended in-person classes and shut intercity bus services, while the Northeast industrial centre of Changchun, in Jilin, was locked down last week.

All bus and subway systems were shut, and businesses, except those providing essential services, have been closed. Employees were told to work from home if they can.

Residents will be barred from leaving Shenzhen—home to the headquarters of giants Huawei Technologies Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd, as well as one of China’s busiest ports—except in limited situations.

Westbound will continue to monitor the situation and do our best to keep everyone informed.

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