The traffic jam of cargo ships due to the ongoing corona lockdown in Shanghai is disrupting global supply chains and will result in higher prices in Germany.

"The delivery bottlenecks will now also be felt in Germany," said Maximilian Butek, the delegate of German business in Shanghai, on Friday of the German Press Agency.

According to estimates, the export volume of the world's largest port has fallen drastically.

Many companies have not received their goods from the country for more than three weeks, said the delegate.

Alternative delivery routes via other ports were also not sufficient to cushion the loss.

"The shortage of supplies from China will continue to have a negative impact on the already high inflation in Germany," said Butek.

"The shock waves that the standstill is triggering here in China are not yet fully comprehensible," said the delegate.

It may take months to fix the disruptions in the supply chains.

The port itself is not the biggest problem.

Because of the strict corona measures, the difficulty lies in transporting the goods by truck to and from the port.

“In principle, this applies to all product groups.

But the concern is particularly great when it comes to electronic items and raw materials or preliminary products,” said the delegate.

The lockdown now affects all companies - regardless of industry or size.

There are massive impairments in the supply chains, the transport and logistics options or in the staff and in production.

The port city with a population of 26 million has been affected by extensive curfews for a month.

The metropolis is at the center of the largest corona wave in China since the pandemic began more than two years ago.

With curfews, mass tests and quarantine, the Chinese leadership is pursuing a strict zero-Covid strategy, which is being put to a severe test by the arrival of the BA.2 omicron variant.

The port of Hamburg, for example, feels this in concrete terms.

As a result of long ship delays, the containers are backing up at the terminals, which leads to the warehouse being overloaded, as Hans-Jörg Heims, spokesman for the Hamburg port logistics company HHLA, said.

A whole series of ships are currently having to wait off Helgoland until a place becomes available in their destination port.

According to Heims, there are ten freighters that currently want to go to Hamburg.

"It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks."

Despite all efforts and a large deployment of personnel and technology, there are delays in handling.

How did these problems come about?

"Triggered by the corona pandemic, there have been disruptions in supply chains worldwide for two years," said Heims.

"As a result of lockdowns in large Chinese cities, operations in the ports there have been repeatedly interrupted. And then the ships build up there. If the traffic jam clears, the wave arrives in Europe a few weeks later."

HHLA has always managed such situations well over the past two years.

But the ships' schedules got out of control due to other events such as the days-long blockade of the Suez Canal by the large container ship "Ever Given" in March 2021, bad weather and most recently Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

HHLA has already occupied additional areas with containers.

"But we are reaching our limits the longer the situation in the supply chains remains so tense," reported Heims.

The more containers there are in a warehouse, the greater the effort involved in handling and the longer it takes to clear them.

It used to take 500 meters to bring a container from the warehouse to the ship.

Today that is sometimes 1.5 kilometers - depending on where the container is.

The situation at a terminal in the port of Hamburg was made more difficult by construction work for shore power.

As a result, a berth could not be used at times.

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