Trucking situation worsen when China imposed new travel restrictions across the nation

Source: Logfret China / South China Morning Post (SMCP)
Date: 5th August 2021

China Sets New Restrictions
China imposed new travel and movement restrictions across the nation, including in its highly protected capital of Beijing, as a delta-driven outbreak grew to over 500 symptomatic cases scattered across 15 provinces and municipalities.

Public transport and taxi services were curtailed in 144 of the worst-hit areas nationwide, while officials curbed train service and subway usage in Beijing, where three new cases were reported Wednesday. Hong Kong re-imposed quarantine on travelers from the mainland, though an exception remained for the southern Guangdong province which neighbours the financial city.

In just two weeks, confirmed cases — people infected and sickened by the virus — have grown to more than 500. The infections can be traced back to three cluster areas in China: an outbreak among airport cleaning staff in eastern city Nanjing, another found at a hospital treating Covid patients in Zhengzhou and sporadic cases detected in Yunnan, the province bordering Myanmar.

Traffic has thinned on some of China’s typically busy city roads amid the coronavirus resurgence that’s raising concerns about near-term fuel demand in the major Asian consumer.

With the above, domestic trucking within China is badly affected as drivers will have to be quarantined in both origin and destination provinces. Example: From Shanghai to Shenzhen, drivers might be required to be quarantined in Shenzhen after cargo delivery and when they are back in Shanghai, again another quarantine. Drivers are very reluctant to cross provinces, thus it will either push up the delivery rates or there will be a shortage of drivers making delivery which will increase the delivery time.

Each province governor will have different travel restrictions in place. Some will require drivers to show past 24 hours swab test results, while others will need 48 hours swab test results. Depending on inter-state (within China) traveling history records to determine if any quarantine might be needed for the drivers.

The biggest worry will be that once reaching the specific province which has an outbreak, the drivers will be stuck in that province. Between Ningbo and Shanghai is just 2 hours apart and this job does not sound difficult but if there is an outbreak in Shanghai, then Ningbo drivers will not be keen to even do this 2-hour job. The uncertainties and the impact on their livelihood are the main factors scaring the drivers away.

For any information about the trucking situation in China, please do not hesitate to contact our Logfret team in China.

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