Amazon to divert freight as some Chinese cities go under lockdown

A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 16 (Reuters) - Inc said it would counter any disruptions due to the lockdowns in Chinese cities by diverting freight to warehouses in unaffected regions, as companies rush to comply with the country's controls to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The e-commerce giant said it had purchased more local inventory during the early outbreak of the Omicron variant to stay better prepared to handle potential disruptions.

Earlier today, Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn and other companies including Japan's Toyota Motor (7203.T) fueled concerns over how global supply chains could be impacted as China deals with its biggest spike in COVID infections since early 2020.

"We do not anticipate a significant disruption to our business. We are able to counter these closures by diverting available freight to our neighboring warehouses in the region not impacted by COVID lockdown/restrictions," Amazon Spokesperson Maria Boschetti said on Wednesday.

Multiple Chinese provinces and cities have tightened restrictions in line with Beijing's zero-tolerance goal of suppressing COVID-19 as quickly as possible, including the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen.

The Shenzhen Cross-border E-commerce Association, which groups about 2,800 retailers using platforms such as Amazon, said its members felt the pain of supply disruptions. read more

The association said there would be some short-term impact on cross-border platforms such as Amazon as goods may not be delivered on time.

The factory shutdowns were also causing delays in deliveries, while logistical difficulties were making it challenging to ship goods to overseas customers, manufacturers in the region said.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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