Tesla is among several companies lobbying for the Chinese government to ease transport restraints as COVID-19’s presence in the country continues to increase.
Several major businesses, including Tesla and Covestro, have been permitted by Shanghai’s local government to continue transporting needs with a “closed-loop system,” the South China Morning Post reports. This system allows workers who live at production sites to avoid contact with outsiders. Because of these restrictions, companies have a shortage of truck drivers who can transport goods between different regions.
Tesla has been hit directly by the closed-loop system setup. The company’s Gigafactory Shanghai production facility, which produces the Model 3 and Model Y, has lacked the necessary components to keep production lines going since late March, the report claims, because there is a lack of permissions for drivers to travel among regions, an executive with one of the automaker’s components suppliers said. They wished to remain anonymous.
Covestro spokesperson Richard Fu said, “Logistics constraints remain the biggest challenge, and there are uncertainties with regards to especially cross-provincial transport and supply along the value chain, which may force us to further adjust the load of some plants in the days to come. We are closely monitoring the situation, which is changing very fast.”
COVID-19 cases in Shanghai rose by 23,624 on Saturday, with symptomatic infections rising to 1,015 from Friday’s 824 cases, health authorities in the city said. It is the eighth straight day of record-setting cases. Shanghai has been in a citywide lockdown since April 5. “It is technically business as usual for the Shanghai Port,” Bettina Schoen of the European Chamber of Commerce’s Shanghai Chapter said. “However, a logistics black hole is being caused by restrictions on truck drivers going around to surrounding provinces for cargo pickup.”