Major Shipping Lines stop cargo bookings to and from Russia, with immediate effect

From March 1, MSC and its 2M alliance partner Maersk have suspended all cargo bookings to and from Russia, including all access areas including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and even the Russian Far East. MSC has informed that they will contact their customers directly, if required, for Russian shipments that are already in transit.

“As the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions, new Maersk bookings within ocean, air and intercontinental rail to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with the exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies (bar dual-use items),” said the Danish container line, Maersk, in a customer advisory posted on March 1.

Joining the 2M in the same direction, French shipping group CMA CGM, German shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Süd, and a few other significant carriers, have also decided to stop all bookings to and from Russia. China’s COSCO Shipping is a notable exception. This comes soon after bookings to and from Odessa were stopped since the day Russia began invading Ukraine.

Hamburg Sud has even notified in its advisory, stating, “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.”

As per the latest reports, the EU countries are also considering a ban on Russian ships entering the bloc’s ports, intending to tighten sea restrictions following an airspace ban for Russian flights.

We, at project44, will continue to monitor the situation as it develops further and share the updates as and when required.