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Dramatic increase of containerships hit by global port congestion

Latest data from Windward, the maritime AI platform, shows that one fifth of all the world’s containerships are stuck in port congestion, with Chinese ports the biggest factor.

“When looking at the global picture, between April 12-13, 2022, 1,826 container vessels were waiting outside of ports worldwide,” reports Windward. “That’s 20 percent of all container vessels globally!”

Windward calculates that a quarter of all the vessels are specifically delayed at Chinese ports. More and more containerships are notably diverting away from Shanghai, the world’s busiest port whose population of 25 million has been in lockdown since the end of March.

“The lockdowns in China are heavily impacting the congestion outside the country’s ports,” notes Windward based on data pulled for its Maritime AI platform and released on April 19. “The number of container vessels waiting outside of Chinese ports today is 195 percent higher than it was in February.”


Windward compares February when there were no lockdowns in China to March when Shenzhen was in lockdown, and now April as the lockdown reached Shanghai.

“The trend is clear – in the April and March snapshots, there were 506 and 470 vessels, respectively, stuck outside of Chinese ports. In February, that number was only 260. In essence, lockdowns in China have nearly doubled the congestion outside the country’s ports,” concludes Windward. (Dreamstime photo of Port of Shanghai)