Shipyards and shipowners face serious delays to deliveries in 2023 — due to a skills gap in South Korea and Beijing’s zero-Covid policy in China — that could put newbuilding contracts in jeopardy.

South Korean shipbuilding sources this week told TradeWinds that yards are facing their most serious labour shortfall since reopening in the wake of the pandemic in mid-2021 and that they are now struggling to produce the number of hull blocks required to meet their delivery schedules.

In China, sources said some yards are declaring force majeure on newbuilding contracts as a precaution against further lockdown delays that continue due to Beijing’s strict zero-Covid policy.