August, 2021

COVID-19 complications continue to plague most of Asia, causing port closures and logistical delays across the continent. Ship crews and truck drivers are now required to produce a negative COVID test before they are allowed to access certain shipping areas, which has further exacerbated the issues of an already-congested region. Threats of wider lockdown measures in China have also added pressure on the situation. While the Chinese economy has readied itself for a resurgence in factory production, global shipping remains unable to keep up with the demand that has been growing since early May. In the US, many ports are unable to even bring ships in; numerous freight vessels are currently anchored offshore in California awaiting an empty space. Severe delays in import procedures such as these have the potential to cause even more international turmoil due to empty containers not being shipped back to their origins on time.

On top of these logistical issues, Tropical Storm LUPIT has made transportation extremely difficult in many regions throughout China. Damage caused by extreme weather conditions has affected more than 8,110 hectares of crops and cut power to thousands of homes and businesses (Reuters). The sheer quantity of rainfall China is currently experiencing is described by scientists as a “once in a thousand years downpour.” This news is coming off the heels of the IPCC’s Report on climate change, detailing that extreme weather events such as this will occur far more frequently as time goes on. Poor weather conditions have also affected Southeast Asia, with the Philippines suffering severe congestion due to a combination of heavy rainfall and COVID-19 safety protocols. The current rains are expected to continue until sometime next week. Japan, Thailand, and Cambodia remain generally unaffected by current issues and are operating as normal.

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Written By
Judy Tucci