Shanghai Airport’s Cargo Quagmire Causes Further Disruption in China

Photo sourced from Air Cargo World.
Photo sourced from Air Cargo World.

LONDON – Shanghai Airport’s cargo quagmire continues as it causes further disruption and clog-ups across China through aircraft diversions.

Such coverage has been made throughout the course of this month by AviationSource, with two stories originally coming out of this.

The first was how Shanghai’s latest lockdown capped capacity at 40% and the other was cargo shortages due to COVID-19.

Diversions from Pudong…

According to The Loadstar, such diversions from Shanghai Pudong Airport are causing a shortage of pallets for exports.

It is understood also that Zhengzhou Airport has been the hardest hit by these diversions, which has caused significant concern for the airport’s viability of operations.

There has been no improvement surrounding the situation at Pudong at this time, with factories also being closed down due to the lockdowns in the surrounding areas as well.

As long as the lockdown in the Shanghai area continues, these problems will continue to grow.

Global Repercussions…

The likes of Shanghai and other major cargo hubs across China suffering such disruption are going to cause more problems globally down the road.

Thinking away from the aviation sector, a lot of goods do come from the country, which could cause shortages in the global supply chain.

Cargo carriers around the world such as Lufthansa Cargo, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others may have to alter schedules in order to cope with these pressures in China.

With capacity still being limited, this could potentially drive the price of goods upwards in the short-term, which is something not many will want to pay for especially coming out of a pandemic as well.

China Is Keeping This Contained For The Right Reasons…

Such capacity locks as well as population lockdowns do show that China is keeping this contained for the right reasons.

From the political perspective, it does seem that they don’t want COVID to spread much again outside of China, as this would further damage the global supply chain.

However, it is in the interest of the Chinese authorities to get the new strain of COVID under control so then it can reopen the factories and then reduce the level of damage taking place currently.

As a cargo forwarder told The Loadstar, the situation is not going to improve just yet:

“Unfortunately, there’s no improvement so far at PVG – most flights are suspended.”

“The majority of export cargo is being diverted to other airports, however, there is a massive reduction of air freight volumes, due to factories in the surrounding areas being under lockdown.”


It remains clear that the Chinese authorities need to get this new strain of COVID under control as soon as possible, so then lockdown restrictions can be eased.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how long this will take, and what sort of economic impact it is going to have on the country as well as on the global supply chain.

But for now, all cargo firms can do is continue diverting and hope for the best that their cargo will be accepted and then delivered onwards to the relevant facilities.

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