Typhoon Haishen hits South Korea; NE Asia port congestion set to continue

Author: Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Typhoon Haishen made landfall in South Korea's southern peninsula on Monday, worsening the shipping congestion across northeast Asia as it forces fresh port closures in the region.

At 03:50 hours GMT, Haishen was packing maximum winds of around 126 kilometres per hour (km/hour) and was moving north-northwest away from the city of Ulsan at a speed of 35 km/hour, Japan Meteorological Agency data showed.

The typhoon was over waters some 120 kilometres south of Busan, a major port city in South Korea, at around 06:00 local time on Monday.

Haishen is the second storm to hit the region within a week and was tracking  Typhoon Maysak’s path.

Source: Korea Meteorological Administration

The successive typhoons have heavily disrupted northeast Asian port operations.

For instance, those in Korea were shut for much of the week beginning 1 September due to Typhoon Maysak and resumed for just two days between 5-6 September, before they were forced closed by Typhoon Haishen on 7 September.

The South Korean ports may reopen on 8 September at the earliest, depending on how Haishen progressed, industry sources said.

The northeast Asian maritime areas were also grappling with protracted multi-month long congestions, and "these latest developments would only make things worse," a shipowner said, adding that he is bracing for even more chaotic and unpredictable turnaround timing for his vessels.

Haishen led to the closure of factories and businesses across western Japan with more than 400,000 homes in the Kyushu region left without power as of 03:00 local time on Monday (18:00 hours GMT).

Some 8m people in Japan had been asked to evacuate in the path of Haishen.

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman and Lim Ai Teng

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