Yangtze River increasingly congested after pilots are required to quarantine

Traffic along the China’s Yangtze River was reported to be getting significantly more congested according to analysts at Singapore’s Eastport Research.

Vessels were backing up at ports near and along the Yangtze River because of a severe shortage of pilots. The average time spent per vessel in Zhangjiagang and Shanghai increased by almost a day in October.

Specialized river pilots are being required to enter quarantine after completing their duties, but this has as led to pilot shortages.

The average time spent per vessel increased by 169% year-on-year for Jiangyin, 154% year-on-year for Nantong, 41% year-on-year for Ningbo and 190% year-on-year for Zhangjiagang in October, according to data from Eastport. The Yangtze is the busiest inland waterway for cargo in the world.

By October the average time spent in Zhangjiagang port was more than seven days, compared with about 2.5 days in 2020 and 2019.