A powerful typhoon is expected to impact Taiwan and China this weekend. It may strain global supply chains even further due to the possibility of port disruptions and other logistical issues that would stem from storm damage.
Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said Typhoon Chanthu is north of the Philippines Friday as it closes in on Taiwan and the Chinese coast. In the path of the storm are major containerized ports and factories. The intensity of the storm is a significant concern.
The storm is rated as a category four typhoon, one level below a super typhoon, with maximum sustained winds of around 130 mph and gusts up to 160 mph. Taiwan is expected to feel the brunt of the storm late Saturday, then China on Sunday.
In focus, we begin with Taiwan's globally important ports and semiconductor factories, along with other manufacturing plants that could be in the path of the typhoon. Across the Taiwan Strait, some of the largest Chinese containerized ports are preparing for severe weather.
"The likelihood that this typhoon will reach super typhoon category is not ruled out," the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its Friday evening bulletin.
China's Maritime Safety Administration posted a warning late Thursday for Fujian province's Xiamen Port, one of the main ports for trans-Pacific shipping. The port has requested vessels to avoid the area. The Ningbo Maritime Safety Administration, which covers Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, one of the world's busiest containerized ports in cargo tonnage, has also issued warnings to vessels.
Ningbo was in the news not too long ago for closing one of its terminals due to a COVID-19 case. The closure disrupted supply chains and caused congestion issues at surrounding ports.
Ports across Asia have been bottlenecks for global trade. The impact of Chanthu could shut down or damage top ports in the region that would strain supply chains even more. This would be devastating considering exporters have entered peak shipping season to fulfill holiday orders for North America.