Stunning image shows the severity of world’s shocking shipping problem

The depths of the world’s shipping woes have been revealed in a stunning new image, which shows thousands of ships stuck off a Shanghai port.

A global shipping backlog has been further exacerbated since China went into lockdown as it deals with another wave of Covid.

It has caused a crowd of cargo ships to queue up off the coast of Shanghai waiting to get into port.

Camera IconThousands of ships are queuing up near China due to China’s Covid lockdown. Credit: Supplied

Australian National University supply chain management lecturer David Leaney said it is estimated around 1000 ships are in the image.

“To put that into context, usually the total number of ships queuing anywhere in the world is about 4000 and we’re talking about 1000 at one Chinese port,” Mr Leaney said.

It is believed a tenth of the world’s shipped items are stuck in China’s ports, with Shanghai’s the busiest on earth.

Mr Leaney said it is one of the factors behind rising costs.

“If you’ve already paid for your item, the cost isn’t going up,” he said.

“But the cost of the next item, the cost they add onto the quote for the item after that, they all go up.

“Costs go up, cost of living goes up. That puts pressure on inflation figures and upwards pressure on interest rates.”

Mr Leaney said customers should expect to wait “weeks to months” for deliveries depending on what type of product they had ordered.

“The delay might be three weeks, it could be three months,” he said.

“For certain items like a new car or electronic items it could be 12 months.”

But for anyone hoping for a reprieve or quick solution Mr Leaney had some bad news, saying the issues could continue deep into 2022.

“It takes a huge amount of time to get it (shipping) running smoothly again,” he said.

“If we fix the Covid problems tomorrow, the other problems will still take months to sort out.

“It’s months to fix the things that are causing the problem and then months to get it running smoothly again.”

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