Logistics companies follow carriers and axe services to Russia

Release date: 2022-03-03
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Logistics companies follow carriers and axe services to Russia

Logistics companies have joined shipping lines in announcing suspensions of services to Russia, as western sanctions attempt to brig a volte-face by Russia’s president Putin.

Seko Logistics told The Loadstar it had “ceased all shipments to and from Russia”, while DP-DHL announced last night it had suspended its Russian operations and would not be accepting shipments to or from the country until further notice.

Sources told The Loadstar they expected operators to begin cutting Russian services, given the “practicalities” following the closure of European airspace to Russian flights.

But Seko chief growth officer Brian Bourke said: “When you see hospitals being targeted and kids dying in the street, how can [our decision] just be practical?

“We’re focusing on aid and relief cargo including medical supplies and equipment to support refugees on the border and even into Ukraine. Covid has taught the industry that we have much more to give. We need to rally to help where we can.”

DP-DHL said it would also suspend services to and from Ukraine, adding: “Currently, our greatest concern is the safety of our employees in Ukraine, and we have advised all our employees to stay in a safe place.”

Another source, pointing to the decision of Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM yesterday to join Hapag-Lloyd and ONE in suspending Russia services, asked how forwarders could “continue servicing the country” without access.

“For forwarders and shippers, you have the practical to think about, when the shipping lines are suspending services and Europe is shutting off its airspace. On top of this, you have news that the port of Rotterdam and Dutch Customs will no longer support cargo to or from Russia. Then you have BP and Shell pulling out of the local markets.”

Mr Bourke said the additional sanctions imposed by the US, Canada, UK, and EU had played a part in Seko’s decision, adding: “Additionally, major Russian banks were sanctioned and removed from the SWIFT system for international financial transactions.”

However, other major forwarders have not followed DP-DHL and Seko’s lead, Kuehne+Nagel’s website yesterday said its offices in the Russian Federation remained operational, but added: “Our trade control teams and employees closely observe the development of sanctions imposed by the US, the EU and certain states.

“Kuehne+Nagel adheres to applicable rules and regulations. In our customers’ interests, no transaction can be accepted if it is linked to an individual or entity that is on a sanction list or its content or destination would breach country-based sanctions.”

For any non-profit or other organisation that needs humanitarian assistance, Seko said they could write to sekocares@sekologistics.com.

“We will work to move this cargo for free,” said Mr Bourke.

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