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Maersk, MSC, ONE suspend cargo bookings to and from Russia

A.P. Moller – Maersk is temporarily suspending new Maersk bookings within ocean, air and intercontinental rail to and from Russia, with the exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies (bar dual-use items). The suspension began 1 March and covers all Russian gateway ports. Maersk will announce further details as it progresses with the planning.

The company also noted that, with the ever-evolving situation with governments posing new sanctions against Russia and the regular adjustments that are being made to the list of restrictions, it is starting to see the effect on global supply chain flows such as delays and detention of cargo by customs authorities across various transshipment hubs, resulting in unpredictable operational impacts.

It is key for Maersk that we minimize supply chain disruption and do not add to the global congestion in ports and depots. For cargo already underway and bookings placed before this suspension was announced, we will do our utmost to deliver it to its intended destination. Consequently, we will still call Russia although we will not accept new bookings unless they belong in the exception categories mentioned above.

However, please expect significant delays as countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are holding back vessels en route to Russia in search of restricted commodities, primarily dual-use items. The inspections of export and transshipment cargo bound for Russia are related to implementing procedures to comply with sanctions and export controls recently imposed by different jurisdictions.

—A.P. Moller – Maersk

Maersk also noted that it cannot receive from or make payments to any sanctioned Russian banks, or any other sanctioned party.

MSC and ONE suspend as well. Until recently, Maersk was the world’s largest container line. Data compiled by Alphaliner found that as of 1 March 2022, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Co) has overtaken Maersk in terms of capacity. MSC’s fleet can carry 4,308,612 TEUs to Maersk’s 4,293,689. MSC has a 17% share of the global market, Maersk has a 16.9% share.

MSC has also introduced with immediate effect a temporary stoppage on all cargo bookings to and from Russia, covering all access areas including Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia.

MSC said it will continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment and humanitarian goods. MSC will contact customers directly, as necessary, in respect of any Russia-related cargo that is already in transit.

ONE (Ocean Network Express)—ranked Nº 6 by Alphaliner—has suspended booking acceptance to and from Odessa, Ukraine and Novorossiysk, Russia until further notice. Booking acceptance to and from St. Petersburg, Russia is suspended with immediate effect until further notice while the company evaluates operational feasibility.


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