Leading shipping companies halt services to Russia, except COSCO Shipping

All except COSCO suspend Russian operations

According to GlobalData, most global shipping companies have suspended cargo bookings temporarily to and from Russia amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis with the exception of medical equipment, food, and humanitarian aid.

The decision by many global shipping companies to halt their services to Russia could put the country in a difficult position as it will struggle to import goods such as motor vehicles and spare parts, industrial machinery and equipment, apparel and electrical machinery.”

Sathiya Jalapathy, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData

GlobalData identifies some of the key shipping companies that have suspended their operations:

  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping: Swiss international shipping line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping, has stopped accepting cargo bookings to/from Russia, covering the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and Far East Russian regions. It operates through a fleet of 600 vessels with more than 230 trade routes, serving 500 ports. The company operates in Russia through its subsidiary MSC Rus, LLC.
  • CMA CGM RUS: CMA CGM RUS LLC, CMA CGM’s Russian subsidiary, with nine offices located at Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow, serves 7 Russian ports, and has suspended its operations in Russia. CMA CGM Group does not expect to be majorly impacted by this decision, as it has a strong fleet of 566 vessels, serving 420 ports worldwide, with a combined capacity of three million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).
  • Maersk: Danish shipping company Maersk has halted its container shipping operations temporarily to/from Russia. It operated on 3 shipping routes connecting Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea; Novorossiysk in the Black Sea; and Vladivostok and Vostochny on the Russian east coast. The company has also announced that it will suspend its ocean and inland cargo bookings temporarily to/from Russia. Maersk also intends to sell its 30.75% stake in Global Ports Investments, a port operator in Russia. The shipping company derived 2.5% of its total revenues from the country in FY2021, which amounted to $1.5 billion.
  • HMM: HMM halted cargo bookings on two of its shipping routes to/from Russia, citing low demand. However, the company said that it will fulfil previous bookings. The company operates container ships with a capacity of 1,700 TEUs each on the Busan to Vostochny and Busan to Vladivostok routes. HMM confirmed that halting these two routes will not have any impact on its performance, as it operates 79 ships with a total capacity of 816,194 TEUs serving 60 sea routes and more than 100 ports worldwide.
  • Ocean Network Express: Singapore-based container and shipping company Ocean Network Express (jointly owned by KLine, MOL, and NYK) suspended cargo bookings to/from Odessa in Ukraine, and Novorossiysk and Saint Petersburg in Russia.
  • Hapag-Lloyd: German international container and shipping company Hapag-Lloyd suspended bookings to and from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. It operates a fleet of 257 vessels with a capacity of about 1.8 million TEUs. The company operates in Russia through offices in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Novorossysk and Saint Petersburg.

One company that continues to transport goods is COSCO Shipping. The company’s tanker fleet continues to transport crude oil, which is Russia’s major export commodity, to China. Jalapathy adds, “COSCO is offering economic succour for Russia as it faces a barrage of economic sanctions from various governments.”

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