As a result of Chinese lockdowns and global ship jams, the German economy is threatened with a further aggravation of the serious delivery problems. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Port of Rotterdam, the number of ships heading west from China has fallen. And the London shipping consultancy Drewry estimates that in April alone 260,000 containers destined for export all over the world were not loaded in the port of Shanghai.

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) did not find any decline in import volumes in Rotterdam or Hamburg up to last week. But in mid-May, according to the IfW, the volume of freight in the Red Sea was almost a fifth lower than would have been expected in normal times. Lockdowns in China are having a delayed effect on deliveries to European companies because the ships are on the road for several weeks.

However, there are no fears that deliveries from China will come to a complete standstill: “A decline in westbound freight volumes due to the lockdown in Shanghai is to be expected, but this will be limited,” said a spokeswoman for the port of Rotterdam.

Nevertheless, according to the Berlin Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), the effects will be felt by both consumers and industry. German retailers sold a wide range of Chinese-made products, from electronics to furniture and clothing to toys, Merics analyst Jacob Gunter said.

“We assume that the situation will continue to worsen in the coming days and weeks because ships that left the port of Shanghai before the closure were still arriving,” said Bertram Brossardt, Managing Director of the Bavarian Business Association in Munich. “We will only feel the actual consequences of the lockdown in Shanghai for some time, but then very drastically.”