A spokesperson said the ban would begin “possibly today, possibly tomorrow”, but would depend on arranging plans for shipments already booked which were not in breach of EU sanctions against Russia.
“We are also keen to stress that there will be three exceptions – food, medical and humanitarian supplies,” added the spokesperson. “The exceptions underline Maersk’s commitment to its social responsibilities.
“Regarding the suspension, we do not have a precise time when it will take effect, but will keep customers updated.”
On the first day of the invasion, last Thursday, Hapag-Lloyd became the first line to issue a block on Russian bookings, with Singapore’s ONE announcing the same, yesterday.
However, the world’s biggest carrier by capacity, MSC, has yet to follow suit, telling reporters it was maintaining services subject to a “thorough screening process, with prepayment required for all imports to Russia”.
Maersk’s spokesperson told The Loadstar: “We have had crisis meetings over the last week to see what measures we must take, as we are deeply concerned, closely look at the evolving situation and assess the effect on global supply chains.
“We needed to take time to consider how to affect bookings, but with the civility and safety of our operations already feeling the effects, we decided to act.
“Our focus now is very much on ensuring the practical application of the suspension and keeping it in line with our humanitarian exceptions, and ensuring we keep our customers up to date on what we are doing.”
Other logistics companies have also stopped taking bookings for Russia, including Seko Logistics, while UPS and FedEx have also suspended deliveries to Russia. DHL is still “monitoring the situation”.