Already, carmaker Hyundai (HYMTF
) has suspended production at its plants in South Korea because of a disruption to the supply of parts caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, the company said in a statement.
Tugboats guide a container ship of Maersk Line at the Yangshan Deepwater Port, operated by Shanghai International Port ( Group) Co., Ltd. (SIPG)
The shutdowns mean that some ships can’t get into Chinese ports, as the loading and discharging of goods slows, said Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, a trade body. Others are stuck in dock, waiting for workers to return to ports so that construction and repairs can be completed, Platten added.
Still more vessels are idling in “floating quarantined zones,” as countries such as Australia and Singapore refuse to allow ships that have called at Chinese ports to enter their own until the crew has been declared virus-free, added Sand. Platten said he knew of at least one crew that is running low on food because their ship has been idled for so long.
Giant shipping companies such as Maersk, MSC Mediterranean Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA-CGM have said that they have reduced the number of vessels on routes connecting China and Hong Kong with India, Canada, the United States and West Africa.