China zero-Covid lockdowns, CNY vacation impression provide chains, ports

Streets in Tianjin, China, empty on January 10, 2022 as the city goes into partial lockdown following a surge in Omicron cases.

Geno Hou | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Covid lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions are causing a backlog at some of China’s major ports, causing “chaos” and increasing air freight by up to 50% in some cases, analysts tell CNBC.

Ahead of the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China, air freight rates have skyrocketed and some shipping companies have suspended services, putting a renewed spotlight on congested supply chains.

It comes as China presses ahead with its zero-Covid strategy – meaning a recent spike in infections has led to lockdowns and restrictions in major port hubs and major cities across the country.

“Although ports are still open, current restrictions — such as mandatory quarantines and testing — continue to slow transportation and cause delays,” Atul Vashistha, founder and chair of supply chain consultancy Supply Wisdom, told CNBC.

China’s top priority right now is to limit the spread of Covid cases ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics and the upcoming Lunar New Year, he added. However, the resulting curbs at the ports have also created a certain “chaos”.

“Products are piling up while ships are banned from entering. Between negative PCR test requests and last minute rerouting, 2022 starts as 2021 ended – chaos,” Vashistha said, referring to the polymerase chain reaction Covid tests.

Cases have been reported in the main port cities of Shenzhen, Tianjin and Ningbo, as well as in the United States Industrial center of Xi’an, spark arrestors and other curbs.

Infections were also reported in other cities, e.g Dalian and anyang.

The capital Beijing reported its first locally transmitted Omicron infection on January 15. On Sunday, less than two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Beijing authorities introduced new restrictions to stem a recent outbreak after nine locally transmitted cases were detected in Beijing the day before.

the Ningbo eruption in December also triggered some curbs and disrupted traffic in the world’s third busiest port, Ningbo-Zhoushan.

Operations have now largely resumed, but shipments have been diverted to Shanghai — the world’s busiest port — causing congestion and delays there too, Judah Levine, head of research at freight-booking platform Freightos Group, told CNBC.

Supply chain tech firm project44 said the shift from the Ningbo port to Shanghai “backfired on some carriers” as congestion mounted in Shanghai. As a result, Shanghai saw an 86% increase in empty runs year-over-year, it said, referring to an industry term for when an airline decides to skip a particular port or the entire journey altogether.

In an email to CNBC last week, Freightos’ Levine said all eyes are on China and the impact strict outbreak containment measures could have on logistics. “Steps have been taken to quell the spread of positive cases, which have been detected in multiple locations including Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian and several others,” he said Jan. 19.

Rising air freight rates

Spot prices for ocean shipping en route from Asia to the U.S. West Coast were up 4%, Levine said, but they’re unlikely to rise much further because production is on hold as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches and factories shut down for a while be closed for a longer period of time.

However, air freight rates are still rising, he added.

“With enough time to still move cargo by air, the pre-holiday rush coupled with pandemic-constrained capacity is driving air freight rates higher,” he said, adding that the Freightos Air Index showed that the Rate from China to Northern Europe was $9.59 per kg in mid-January – up over 50% from under $6 per kg in early January.

The Lunar New Year is China’s biggest holiday, and hundreds of millions of people traditionally travel back to their hometowns from the cities where they work.

According to Vashistha, some major shipping companies such as Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd have suspended their services and operations even earlier than last year to celebrate the season. That puts a strain on already fragile supply chains, he said.

This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the omicron variant, but port troubles in China take these complications to a new level.

John Ferguson

economic impact

Shipping costs have fallen in recent months as supply chain backlogs have reduced, but the recent Covid surge and possible port closures will dwarf any progress made, said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.

“I would say that this will slow down the improvement that we’ve seen over the past few months,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Thursday.

Impact of China’s zero-Covid on the Winter Olympics

China’s zero tolerance for Covid will have a major impact on global supply chains, said John Ferguson, globalization, trade and finance practice leader at think tank Economist Impact.

“This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the Omicron variant, but port issues in China are taking those complications to a new level,” Ferguson said.

“China’s zero-Covid strategy is critical as further outbreaks will lead to more closures or lockdowns in key areas,” he told CNBC. “With China approaching the Winter Olympics, as well as major political events later in the year, China is unlikely to abandon its Covid strategy in 2022.”

One bright spot is that many companies have already prepared for stressed supply chain scenarios and are now implementing their plans, he said.

Still, not everything will go smoothly.

“While global companies have become more nimble during this crisis, we should still expect some delays from this latest round of supply chain stress,” he added.

Supply Wisdom’s Vashistha summed it up: “Combine the closures with the increase in Covid-related port congestion, China’s zero-tolerance policy and reduced air transport capacity and the problem becomes even clearer: cargo continues to increase, without there being any way to move it or places to go.”

Summer season leisure returns to venues in CNY

Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted across New York state, and the long days of July and August mean summer entertainment in central New York can thrive as usual. Organizations will adhere to a variety of security protocols, which can include limited seating, masking for unvaccinated guests, and online ticket purchases. Details can be found on the website of the respective event.

Local art and music events in alphabetical order are as follows:


July brings a full program of music, poetry and visual arts to the village of Cazenovia. The annual festival begins with a month-long curated exhibition of the works of 24 Central New York artists and ends with a performance of new music by participants at Young Composers Corner in Lakeland Park.

Elements of the annual celebration of the arts are incorporated into village activities, such as the weekly Cazenovia farmers’ market (new music from 10am to 12pm), the July 4th parade and local shops. Patrick Lawler will coordinate a poetry / writer event on July 13 with Eric Evans and David Hitchcock of the YMCA Downtown Writers Center.

Ticket events include “Libba Cotton,” a new opera that will be performed on July 17 at 7:30 pm at the Catherine Cummings Theater, and “New Music Strikes Gold,” July 25 at 4:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church.

Brochures with timetables will be available throughout the village. Information can be found on the website at


Tribute concerts, children’s shows, musicals and Shakespeare fill a six-part season at the Pavilion Theater of the Cortland Repertory Theater on Little York Lake. The actors will perform on an outdoor stage 12 feet from the front row of the audience, eliminating the need for the actors to be masked. No tickets are sold at the box office; No single tickets are sold. Purchases must be made in advance in lots of two, three, or four. Program information and bios will be online and the refreshment tent will only open before the curtains.

What: Nine outdoor appearances in the repertoire


“Pirate pirate!” July 8-11 at noon

“Close To You” July 8th, July 9th at 7.30pm and July 10th at 3pm and 7.30pm

“The Honky Tonk Angles” July 15-23 (July 18 and 21 at 2pm; others at 7.30pm)

“The Wizard of Oz” July 16 and 17 at 10 am and 2 pm. (drive through the event)

The Adam Lee Decker Trio July 24th at 2pm and 7:30 pm

“The complete work from July 28th to 31st at 7.30pm with a show at 2pm on July 30th

William Shakespeare “

“Goin ‘to the Chapel” August 5th – 13th (August 6th and 8th at 2pm; others at 7.30pm)

“How cute it is” August 14th at 2pm and 7:30 pm and August 15th at 2pm

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” August 19th – 21st at 7.30pm with a 2pm show on August 20th

Tickets: Prices vary depending on the show, seats and special discounts. Call 607-756-2627 or visit the CRT website for details.

Where: Dwyer Memorial Park, 6799 Little York Lake Rd., Prebble.


In allusion to the pandemic season, “Glimmerglass on the Grass” has a new outdoor stage and seats on “Festival Squares”. Each socially distant room can accommodate four people. The buyer must pay for all of the space and provide a low-back chair or blanket for lawn seating. Masks are required except in this designated area, where guests can also eat from home or on-site take-away. No groceries are sold on site; Baths are opened.

What: Six 90-minute opera and musical productions in the repertoire

When: “The Magic Flute” July 15th – August 17th

“To the world” July 16 – August 8

“Songbird” July 30th – August 13th

“Il Trovatore” August 1st – 14th

“Gods and Mortals” August 13-16

“The Passion of Mary August 5th – 13th

Cardwell Dawson “

Where: 7300 St. Highway 80, Cooperstown, New York

Tickets: website or box office, 607-547-2255

Price: Festival Squares can accommodate up to four people and sell for $ 80 to $ 350 per performance, depending on which zone is chosen; have to buy whole square.

Note: Please visit the website for details on weather and refund / exchange policies. Covid protocols are explained on the “FAQ” page of the website.


Founded in 1938, the Oswego Players Theater continues its tradition of summer productions with a show that was ready to kick off when the 2020 pandemic protocols closed all venues. With most of the cast returning, the troupe will perform the show in August.

A special invitation performance on August 4th will raise funds for the Patrick Carman Joyful Heart Theater Scholarship.

The Oswego Players’ Theater Arts Youth Academy will soon announce a summer schedule of activities for young people.

What: Dearly Departed, a comedy by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones

When: August 6th, 7th; 13th and 14th at 7.30pm and August 8th and 15th at 2pm

Where: Francis Marion Brown Theater in Fort Ontario, Oswego

Tickets: $ 15 adults; $ 10 students and seniors

Note: Free parking spaces around the red brick building


After “Troilus and Cressida” closed with a sold out show on June 13th, SSITP is continuing six August performances of “The Comedy Of Errors,” the story of the bard of two pairs of identical twins who died in the Thorndon Park Amphitheater Birth were separated. The reunion of the two aristocrats and their servants in the Greek city of Ephesus and the resulting whimsical mishaps make this early piece ideal for summer outdoor entertainment.

What: “The Comedy of Errors”

Where: Amphitheater of Thornden Park, Thornden Park Dr., Syracuse

When: 6th – 15th August, Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.

Tickets: Seats on the lawn are free but must be reserved in advance on the SSITP website

Premium: Guests have reserved seats and meal vouchers for $ 30.

Food: Beer Belly Deli and Gannon’s Isle will sell food on-site; People can bring food


A variety of events will be held from August 3 to August 28 at the Robinson Pavilion at Anyela’s Vineyards, Mandana Barn, and locations to be announced.

Skanfest U, a course with a focus on “Voices Unheard: Composers at the Margins”, is coordinated by Aaron Wunsch, faculty member at the Juilliard School and Co-Artistic Director with his wife Julia Bruskin, of the Skaneateles Festival. These run virtually on August 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th and provide a context for the music that will be performed during the festival.

Details on the performances are available online at and will be updated during the season.

What: 42nd music season of the Skaneateles Festival at the lake


Dover Quartet August 12th at 8pm

Bill Charlap Trio August 13th and 14th at 8pm

“The Voice Within” August 26th 8pm

Time For Three August 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. (also children’s matinee)

Tickets: Season tickets cover four concerts and cost between $ 125 and $ 175; Skanfest U is included. Tickets for the Saturday series cost $ 70 to $ 100. Single ticket prices range from $ 30 to $ 60; two young people under the age of 18 can enter for free when adults shop in section B. Call 315-685-7418 for information on VIP seating and ticket upgrades.


Outdoor concerts are part of the Symphoria tradition, and more events will be announced as communities and sponsors respond to the New York state lifting restrictions.

What: the professional orchestra and ensembles of Central New York

When and where:

Wind Quintet July 9th 7pm Lorenzo State Historic Site (chairs provided)

Chamber music July 22, 8 p.m. Carol Watson Greenhouse

Orchestra July 23, 7 p.m. Fort Ontario

Orchestra July 24th, 7:30 p.m. Beard Park, Fayetteville

Honor America Pops July 31, 8 p.m. Ft. Stanwix, Rome (fireworks)

Tickets: Free; some concerts require registration in advance of the event.

Details: for Covid logs and ticket information

Seating: outdoors; use low-backed blankets or chairs to sit on


New to the summer theater scene, this ensemble will present its first production in July at the New York State Fairgrounds. Founder JR Westfall will direct; Ben Borenstein becomes music director. Written by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, the show will reveal six overlapping stories of characters, each running away from something.

What: “Refugee Songs”

Where: Empire Theater at the NYS Fair

When: July 23, 8 p.m. – July 1, August 1, 3 p.m.

Tickets: $ 28 for table seating; $ 18 general admission; Discounts for seniors and students.

Details: Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 315-395-9973 for information.


(formerly carousel)

A new name for Auburn’s historic Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, The Rev Theater Co., continues to produce full-scale professional music shows at the Preston H. Thomas Theater in Emerson Park. Three productions are planned for 2021. According to the organization’s website, the HVAC has been modified to create a continuous flow of air and a cleaning system ensures optimal air quality for staff, actors and audience. See guidelines on the organization’s website for specific attendance requirements.

What: “Broadway in the Finger Lakes”

When: Check the website for times on the following dates:

42nd Street June 30th – July 28th

“Footloose” August 4th – September 1st

“Almost Heaven” September 8-29

Where: Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, 6877 E. Lake Rd., Auburn

Tickets: Visitors are advised to purchase tickets prior to arrival. Single tickets cost $ 53 to $ 65; Group rates available. For more information, please call 315-255-1785

’49 and Holding’ CNY Maple Pageant Extravaganza held drive-thru model in Marathon

MARATHON (WBNG) – The Maple Festival Extravaganza ’49 and Holding ‘was held this morning as a drive through event where residents could enjoy their favorite maple goodies from the comfort of their car.

At today’s celebration, long lines of cars stopped to buy maple syrup, cotton candy, maple butter, and more.

The festival organizers say the title of this year’s festival is “49 and Counting” instead of the 50th annual Maple Festival. This is because the organizers say the title will not be returned until the festival has returned to its full status.

A total of 10 vendors lined the sidewalks of Appleby Elementary School, including those who did not sell maple-based products for the celebration.

The event also featured various goodies sold by each Marathon high school class. the freshman class from 2024 with fried cucumber and onion leaves to the senior class from 2021, in which French fries, cheese fries and Spiedie sandwiches are sold, among other things.

Vendors say they brought more items but would have to limit the number of products they brought on sale due to the new drive-thru platform.

This was the first major in-person event for the City Marathon, which for many marked a return to a modified version of a normal year’s Maple Festival.