Risk Center

Flooding in southern China to continue

Southern China has been inundated with severe flooding and heavy rains since the beginning of April, outpacing previous rainfall totals during the same periods since 2000. The most recent floods have left major cities submerged and waterlogged, with the provincial capital of Guangdong, Guangzhou, as well as minor cities, such as Shaoguan and Heyuan, being the worst hit. An estimated 110,000 people have already been forced to evacuate in the Guangdong Province since the start of the flooding. 

While limited manufacturing disruptions have been reported, rains will continue to cause severe flooding throughout the remainder of April, and into early May. Forecasts anticipate the heaviest of the rains will move south-east, impacting coastal Guangdong and the Pearl River Delta, which is considered a major economic powerhouse within China. The Pearl River Delta is subject to annual flooding from April to September, however, the earlier onset and severity of current rainstorms has made the situation far worse than past seasons. As rain and flooding continue, disruptions to manufacturing and logistics in this region should be anticipated in the coming weeks.  

Record rainfall and significant flooding impact large swaths of southern China 

Rainfall across southern China has ranged from 12-20 inches (300 – 500 mm) since the beginning of April. The heaviest rains have occurred in the western portion of Guangdong and eastern portion of Guangxi Provinces, where over 20 – 25 inches (510 – 640 mm) of rainfall have been recorded in multiple locations. Other impacted areas include parts of southern Hunan and southern Jiangxi Provinces. The most serious flooding-related issues have been recorded in Guangdong Province, the most heavily populated province in China with a population of almost 127 million people. This extremely wet weather pattern is likely to continue in the coming weeks, with the heaviest rains expected to shift to the south-east and include coastal locations in Guangdong as well as Hong Kong and parts of Taiwan. 

Guangdong Province, home to the key manufacturing regions of the Pearl River Delta, has long been dubbed the factory floor of the world. The province is home to multiple manufacturing hubs, particularly those of the electronic, petrochemical, textile, and pharmaceutical sectors that are located in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, and other cities. However, the most significant flooding has remained north of most of these cities thus far. 

While production processes have appeared to remain mostly unimpacted by local flooding, power outages and roadway closures thus far, operational stoppages and facility outages may still occur as rain shifts south and flooding continues to worsen. 

Logistics disruptions likely to worsen as storms continue 

Flight delays at major airports in Guangdong and bordering provinces have steadily increased since the start of the heavy rains at the beginning of April. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) and Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX), both located in Guangdong Province, are two of the busiest airports in all of China. The former saw 26.1 million passengers and 1.8 million metric tons of cargo in 2022, while the latter processed 21.6 million passengers and 1.5 million metric tons of cargo during the same period. Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) in neighboring Fujian Province is also among the 20 busiest airports in the country, with 10.1 million passengers and around 262.1 thousand metric tons of cargo transiting the airport in 2022. Flight delays have likely peaked at the impacted airports but will remain at elevated levels for the duration of the heavy rains and flooding. 


Everstream clients are receiving more detailed insights and recommendations about this risk. 

Contact us for a personalized demo showing how to get a complete view of the risks affecting your end-to-end supply chain and what you can do to mitigate them. 


Share this post