“As the stability and safety of our operations are already directly and indirectly affected by the sanctions, new Maersk bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with the exception of food, medical and humanitarian supplies,” shipping giant Maersk said in a statement. Tuesday.
The company added: “We are deeply concerned about the continuing escalation of the crisis in Ukraine,” noting that it has begun “to see the impact on global supply chain flows such as delays, the detention of goods by customs authorities through various shipping hubs, and unexpected operational effects.”
The Denmark-based company added that it “cannot receive or make payments to any sanctioned Russian banks or any other sanctioned party.”
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, a Swiss-owned container shipping line, said it will stop all bookings for freight to and from Russia from Tuesday. This will include “all access areas, including the Baltic, Black Sea and the Far East of Russia,” the company said in a statement.
But MSC, which recently overtook Maersk to become the world’s largest container shipping company, according to shipping analytics firm Alphaliner, will continue to accept and screen reservations for delivery of essential goods such as food, medical equipment and humanitarian goods.
Another shipping company, CMA CGM, also suspended all bookings to and from Russia on Tuesday “for the sake of safety.”
“Our top priority remains protecting our employees and ensuring the greatest possible continuity of your supply chain,” the company said.
These ship lines primarily sail ships carrying cargo containers, rather than bulk carriers such as oil tankers or those carrying wheat and other commodities. Their refusal to sail to Russian ports would put a strain on that country’s ability to receive the imported goods on which it depends.
CNN Business’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report