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Delays from congestion at southern Chinese ports triggered by fresh Covid-19 outbreaks are rippling through global supply chains threatening to inflate costs and exacerbate disruptions.

A cargo vessel operated by Cosco Shipping Lines Co. will skip a scheduled port stop in Singapore this month because of delays in China, according to alliance partner Ocean Network Express Holdings Ltd. One of CMA CGM’s vessels heading to China next month will also skip the Southeast Asia trans-shipment hub.

“The delays have already resulted in pressurizing soaring shipping prices within China due to a lack of containers and increased export demand,” said Josh Brazil, the vice president of marketing at project44, a supply chain intelligence firm. “These high shipping costs are just one factor that may contribute to an additional looming threat to global inflation.”

The disruption is putting further pain on global shippers already struggling with disruptions to supply chains from the pandemic, and the Ever Given’s grounding in the Suez Canal earlier this year. Trans-shipment dwell times in Singapore are at about 8-9 days now, up from roughly 5 days a year ago, according to estimates from project44.

Vessel schedules and carrier service levels have been disrupted by delays from Yantian port in Shenzhen, and congestion has spilled over to nearby Shekou and Nansha ports, PSA Singapore said in an emailed reply to queries. “We expect vessel arrivals in Singapore to be affected as well.”

However, container vessels calling at PSA Singapore’s terminal aren’t facing longer wait times as a result of the delays in Yantian yet, the container operator said.

(Corrects number of vessels and affiliation in deckhead and second paragraph.)

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