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Three shipping giants halt apparel deliveries to Russia

The world's top three shipping companies are suspending most deliveries to Russia, including apparel, due to sanctions against the country and concerns over employee safety following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

By Laura Husband

Global shipping companies MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, AP Moller – Maersk (Maersk) and CMA CGM , have stopped most deliveries to Russia, which coincides with a number of apparel companies also making the decision to suspend deliveries to the region.

The shipping companies halting operations to Russia

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

MSC introduced its temporary stoppage on all cargo shipping bookings to and from Russia and covering all access areas, including the Baltics, Black Sea and Far East Russia on 1 March, with immediate effect.

The company says in a statement it will continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment, and humanitarian goods. There was, however, no mention of apparel goods.

MSC says it has been closely monitoring the advice from governments about new sanctions, following the conflict in Ukraine, and it has been operating shipping and inland services to and from Russia in full compliance with international sanctions measures, applicable to it.

The company will contact customers directly, as necessary, in respect of any Russia-related cargo that is already in transit.

MSC stopped accepting new bookings for cargo to/from Ukraine on 24 February, following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Maersk

Similarly, Maersk says it is closely following the ever-evolving situation of new sanctions against Russia and the regular adjustments that are being made to the list of restrictions.

The company said yesterday (2 March), it will suspend new shipping bookings to and from Russia until further notice and highlights foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies as its only exceptions with no mention of apparel. Maersk also highlights that given the uncertainties with applications of sanctions, it is seeing significant delays in European hubs for Russia-bound cargo.

The company says: “It is key for Maersk that we protect our people, minimise supply chain disruption and do not add to the global congestion in ports and depots.”

Maersk explains that it has announced different relief packages that customers impacted by the crisis can use.

It adds: “Among the options are free Change of Destination (COD) services and no cancellation fees on bookings to and from Ukraine and Russia. We have also extended the interim stop of the Detention and Demurrage clock for Ukraine imports and exports and Russia exports to 11 March.”

The company highlights for cargo on its way to Russia and Ukraine that it is currently unable to deliver due to the various restrictions, it will not charge hub storage fees.

Maersk is encouraging customers with cargo destined to or originating from Ukraine and Russia to discuss the different possibilities available to safeguard cargo. It is also continuing to monitor the situation and review the impact with an aim of stabilising operations as quickly as possible.

Maersk said on 24 February it has decided not to call any ports in Ukraine until further notice and will stop the acceptance of orders to and from Ukraine until further notice. 

CMA CGM

CMA CGM , meanwhile, said on 1 March it has decided to suspend all bookings to and from Russia until further notice in the interest of safety. It added its utmost priorities remain to protect its employees and ensure the continuity of the supply chain as much as possible.

In a statement, the company added it has raised its alert levels and taken preventive measures to protect IT systems as well as its customers’ personal and company data.

CMA CGM decided on 24 February, in the interest of safety, to suspend all vessel calls to Ukraine until further notice.

Click here to read more about how the apparel industry is being affected by the Ukraine-Russia crisis, and here for how fashion firms are supporting Ukraine.

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