Maersk, the Danish shipping company, has released a statement addressing the ongoing Ukraine/Russian conflict:
“Maersk, we are deeply concerned by how the crisis keeps escalating in Ukraine. We are closely following the ever-evolving situation with governments posing new sanctions against Russia and the regular adjustments that are being made to the list of restrictions. With that in mind, we now see the clear need to establish new and revise existing processes of accepting and handling bookings.
“We are also starting to see the effect on global supply chain flows such as delays and detention of cargo by customs authorities across various transshipment hubs – overall resulting in unpredictable operational impacts.
“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).
“This exception is to underline that our company is focusing on social responsibility and making the efforts to support society despite all the complications and uncertainties within the current supply chain to/from Russia.
“The suspension will begin today and cover all Russian gateway ports. We will announce further details during today and the coming days as we progress with the planning.
“Every decision we have made during this crisis has been with Maersk employee safety and customer supply chains in mind, and these will continue to be our top priorities in light of the newest developments. We will also continue to put plans in place so that all affected employees and their families get the support needed.
“It is key for Maersk that we minimise 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.
“Our teams are in constant contact with the local customs and port authorities to speed up the release of all goods not impacted by sanctions and export controls, giving priority to humanitarian items such as foods, medicines and hygiene and personal care. The delays are expected to have ripple effects across the regional ocean network, resulting in further delays and congestion.
“As Maersk acts in full compliance with legal regulations and its policies, we cannot receive from or make payments to any sanctioned Russian banks, or any other sanctioned party.
“Giving you the best ability to manage your supply chain is of the utmost importance to us and we are working to give you everything you need to run your global logistics in these circumstances. We will keep monitoring the situation and reviewing impacts from sanctions, with an ambition to stabilise operations as quickly as we can.
“If you are affected by the above sanctions and export controls, please do not hesitate to contact our Maersk Customer Experience teams to discuss options and solutions for your cargo. Please also continue to visit our web advisory page on Maersk.com for the latest updates”.