Dubai will restrict cargo imports for six days next week in a bid to clear a backlog caused by “extraordinarily high” volumes of shipments.
Dnata, the cargo handling branch of government-owned airline group Emirates, told the FT that restrictions would include cargo in transit to other destinations in the UAE with only certain essential items exempted from the ban.
“We are currently working around the clock to clear the backlog of unprocessed cargo at Dubai International Airport, caused by extraordinarily high volumes of inbound cargo to Dubai, and will endeavour to resume normal operations at the earliest,” Dnata said in comments to the Financial Times.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers during this unprecedented time,” the company added.
It comes as Emirates Airline warned that high passenger numbers were also causing delays at Dubai’s main airport with customers advised to arrive four hours early due to travel disruption.
Dnata blamed the cargo import ban on staff shortages and confirmed that new staff are being trained to help deal with the surging workload.
The news is a sign of ongoing supply chain strife. Covid-19 restrictions have also disrupted shipping with port staffs’ work flows at the globe’s major shipping hubs, particularly in Asia, with overstretched employees struggling to process the same volume of orders.
This has contributed to a backlog of crates and lengthened delivery times at ports in the UK, US, Europe and, most notably, in Asia, the world’s trading linchpin.