Shipping giant Maersk has paused port calls in Ukraine until the February end as a result of the conflict there, a firm spokesperson reported on Thursday. Most other shipping firms are on alert since tensions started rising rapidly in the region.
Per the operational data derived from the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, 1,003,500 TEU containers had been handled in the ports throughout 2019. TEU is a traditional unit of measurement that is typically based on the volume of 20-foot intermodal containers.
Ukraine has been caught in an economic and trade storm since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and Thursday’s invasion is going to further ramp up the tension in that region.
At the Berdyansk Commercial Sea Port, the volumes have dropped tenfold during the conflict, per Bloomberg. Mariupol, yet another Sea of Azov port that’s located close to the separatists fighting and has some major steel and grain producers close to it, is becoming a victim.
Throughput nearly halved, from 13 million tons observed in 2013 to 5.8 million in 2019.
In Odesa, on the Black Sea, is heavily hit, this is going to result in a huge blow to Ukraine’s transshipment business. Odessa’s ports typically handle almost three-quarters of the country’s sea trade.
About 70% of Ukraine’s imports and exports are transported by sea from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and America.
Maersk’s 60 employees based in Ukraine were home and are safe.
The shipping major has two routes for container shipping in Ukraine and it calls at the port of Pivdenniy situated approximately 30 kilometers toward the east of Odesa.