Even though the scene on the ground may look like the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust and the full extent of the damage has yet to be tallied, authorities in charge of the disaster hit Port of Tianjin have begun to restart operations.
Limited vessel loading and discharging operations have resumed in the port area although it is expected that it will be a long time before the port, one of the busiest in China, is back to its full operating capacity.
Various reports coming in from port users and media on the ground indicate that the warehouse that was the epicentre of Wednesday night’s massive explosion was located just outside the port area so there is limited damage to berths and internal port infrastructure.
One dry bulk terminal close to the explosion site is said to be out of action due to safety concerns. Others are said to be fully functional and capable of operating normally.
Oil terminals mostly remain closed due to ongoing safety concerns.
Maersk Line reports that its large container terminal is fully operational.
Vessel movements through the port’s main shipping channel remain restricted.
Despite the apparent limited damage to the port itself, major disruptions are still expected in the immediate future.
The area in which the explosion took place is a vast cargo consolidating and storage zone. Much of the containerized cargo and new vehicles stored there have been destroyed.
Reports also note that the highways and access roads leading to the port have been damaged, which has severely restricted that amount of cargo that can flow into and out of the port.
TradeWinds understands that steel importers and suppliers have stopped iron-ore shipments into Tianjin and are making alternative arrangements through other ports.
Containerized cargo volumes are also expected to drop as numerous factories located near the port area were damaged in the explosion.
Sources on the ground have told media that it is still too early to determine the longterm impact of the disaster.
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