Ocean Network Express
Container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) on Monday suspended bookings to and from Russia in response to Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s assault on its neighbour, which Moscow says is a “special operation”, is the biggest state-to-state invasion in Europe since World War Two.
“Booking acceptance to and from St Petersburg, Russia is suspended with immediate effect until further notice whilst we evaluate the operational feasibility,” Singapore-headquartered ONE said in a customer advisory on Monday.
ONE added that it had also suspended bookings for the Russian port of Novorossiisk as well as the Ukrainian container port of Odessa.
Germany’s Hapag Lloyd said on Feb. 24 it had issued a temporary suspension on bookings for Russia and halted sailings for Ukraine. A Hapag spokesperson said on Monday it was “due to the developments we have seen last week and to ensure we comply with any sanctions imposed”.
CMA CGM said its “utmost priorities remain to protect our employees and ensure as much as possible the continuity of your supply chain”.
“In the interest of safety, the group has decided to suspend all bookings to and from Russia as of today and until further notice,” it said in a statement posted on the CMA CGM website.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
MSC stated that they have stopped cargo bookings to and from Russia but will still accept and screen food and humanitarian cargoes.
In a customer advisory, MSC said that it was implementing with immediate effect from March 1 “a temporary stoppage on all cargo bookings to/from Russia, covering all access areas including Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia.”
“MSC will continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment and humanitarian goods,” it said.
Mearsk announced today that it too would join other shipping lines and suspend new bookings to and from Russia.
“We are also keen to stress that there will be three exceptions – food, medical and humanitarian supplies,” added the spokesperson. “The exceptions underline Maersk’s commitment to its social responsibilities.
A spokesperson said the ban would begin “possibly today, possibly tomorrow”, but would depend on arranging plans for shipments already booked which were not in breach of EU sanctions against Russia.
In a coordinated response, the United States, European countries and others have made the unusual move of targeting Russia’s central bank with financial sanctions and put limits on cross-border transactions by the country’s largest lenders.
Russia says its actions in Ukraine are designed not to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.