Maersk MCI reefer Port of Aarhus

AP Moller-Maersk has temporarily suspended new bookings for ocean, air and intercontinental rail shipments to and from Russia.

Beginning on Tuesday (1 March), the suspension covers all Russian gateway ports.

“For cargo already underway and bookings placed before this suspension was announced, we will do our utmost to deliver it to its intended destination,” Maersk said in a statement.

“Consequently, we will still call Russia although we will not accept new bookings unless they belong in the exception categories.”

Exemptions have been made for 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 and from Russia,” the statement added.

The logistics giant said it was deeply concerned by the escalating crisis in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion last week.

“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,” Maersk said.

“With that in mind, we now see the clear need to establish new and revise existing processes of accepting and handling bookings.”

Maersk said the conflict in Ukraine was already impacting global supply chain flows. This included delays and detention of cargo by customs authorities across various transport hubs, resulting in unpredictable operational impacts.

“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,” Maersk said.

“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.”

Maersk said it was acting in full compliance with legal regulations and its policies. It currently cannot receive from or make payments to any sanctioned Russian banks, or any other sanctioned party.