While Russia is grappling with a financial blockade by the Western world, its physical isolation just got exponentially worse after Maersk – the world’s largest container shipping line – aid it would suspend cargo deliveries to and from Russia due to the sanctions imposed against the country for invading Ukraine.
Maersk said the suspension would cover all Russian ports but would not include foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies.
“As the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions, new Maersk bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies,” shipping giant Maersk said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are deeply concerned by how the crisis keeps escalating in Ukraine,” the company added noting that it starts “seeing the effect on global supply chain flows such as delays, detention of cargo by customs authorities across various transshipment hubs, unpredictable operational impacts.”
Meanwhile, the Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) – the world’s biggest container shipping company by capacity – said in a customer advisory that it will also stop all cargo bookings to and from Russia starting today, “covering all access areas including Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia,” the company said in a statement. Starting March 1, MSC had introduced “a temporary stoppage on all cargo bookings to/from Russia”.
“MSC will continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment and humanitarian goods,” it said.
MSC said it would contact customers directly in respect of any Russia-related cargo that was already in transit: “MSC has been closely monitoring the advice from governments about new sanctions,” the privately owned group added.