MSC, Maersk, and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest shipping lines have all suspended shipments to and from Russia as a response to sanctions placed on Moscow in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.
MSC is the world’s largest shipping company by capacity. In a March 1 customer advisory, the company announced, “a temporary stoppage on all cargo bookings to/from Russia, covering all access areas including Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia.” However, “MSC will continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment and humanitarian goods.”
The world’s second largest carrier, Maersk, also announced it will be temporarily halting all container shipping to and from Russia. Like MSC, the Maersk announcement included the same geographical specifications and exceptions for food, medical and humanitarian supplies.
Maersk also holds a 31% stake in Global Ports, a Russian port operator that runs six terminals in Russia and two in Finland. Other shareholders of Global Ports include Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear company, and Russian businessman Sergey Shiskarev.
CMA CGM said that it had suspended all bookings to and from Russia without providing a date of when services would resume. The company cited safety concerns as a reason.
The decision by MSC, Maersk, and CMA CGM follows similar decisions made by Ocean Network Express and Hapag Lloyd.
With the most recent announcements paired with previous decisions by Ocean Network Express and Hapag Lloyd, Russia is essentially cutoff from the world’s leading container shipping lines.
The announcements by shipping companies follow the coordinated response by the USA and European states to sanction Russia’s central bank and severely limiting cross-border transactions.