The cargo operations at Chinese Tianjin Port were suspended until December 21, due to severe air pollution. The local authorities issued red alert for dense smog over the city and nearby neighborhoods. The operations at the port of Tianjin were suspended until improvement of the air conditions, as according to the Central Meteorological Observatory the region will experience severe haze with pollution peaking from Monday to Wednesday. The air pollution and dense smog causes problems for navigation due to reduced visibility. The suspension caused heavy congestion at the port terminal and approaching anchorage. The port authorities halted all the loading and discharging of bulk cargoes, which reflected in berthing delays and large demurages, complained shipping agents and brokers.
Most regions of North China are suffering heavy air pollution, including the Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shaanxi. The airports in Tianjin and Beijing are also delaying flights due to extremely low visibility.
In addition, heavy winds force pollution from nearby provinces to the Beijing-Tianjin area where it remains suspended over the cities. The city’s environmental protection department has strengthened inspection to control sources of pollution.
The Port of Tianjin, formerly known as the Port of Tanggu, is the largest port in Northern China and the main maritime gateway to Beijing. The port handles 500 million tonnes of cargo and 13 million TEU of containers annually, making it the world’s fourth largest port by throughput tonnage and the ninth in container throughput