International shipping company A.P. Moeller-Maersk has temporarily suspended new intercontinental rail bookings without exception on both east and westbound services between Asia and Europe, until further notice.
Maersk said in a statement on March 4 that as the crisis in Ukraine continues it decided to establish new and revise existing processes, which include accepting and handling bookings for Belarus. In the future, only bookings for food, medicines, and humanitarian supplies will be accepted following an extensive screening. Maersk also confirmed that it could not engage with, receive from or make payments to any sanctioned banks or any other sanctioned party including Belarusian and Russian parties.
Following the introduction of sanctions by various governments, a decision was also taken to suspend new intercontinental rail bookings between Asia and Europe. Maersk says that if cargo is already in transit or if a booking was completed before March 4, then the plan was to try to ensure that it would be delivered.
According to railjournal.com, Maersk also suspended all new air bookings to Russia and Ukraine and says there is a potential risk to the cost of air transport.
Winding down operations with containers from Russia
Maersk also expects to wind down operations with containers from Russia by the end of April. Chief Executive Soren Skou said on Tuesday that it was not easy to stop doing business in a country like Russia. The Danish logistics giant still has vessels calling at Russian ports to deliver containers booked before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began and to pick up around 50,000 containers stranded in Russia, he said. It could take until the end of April to retrieve them all.
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