The Copenhagen-based company operates liners in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea, Novorossiysk in the Black Sea, and Vladivostok and Vostochny on Russia’s east coast.
It carried more than 4 million shipping containers last year, but MSC narrowly edged out its Danish rival.
Maersk handles approximately one in six containers shipped worldwide. This week, it said Russian airspace limitations would also affect its air cargo operations.
Jonathan Roach, an analyst at shipping broker Braemar ACM, said imports of Russian consumer goods would be the most disrupted by the move.
“With container shipping, it’s such a variety of goods, from televisions to refrigerators and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “It will have an impact and they will have to find alternative sources for certain products.”
Maritime analysis firm Clarkson said Russia would account for 5% of global maritime exports, most of which are energy.
Simon MacAdam of Capital Economics said the sanctions-caused supply shock would “increase strains on shipping routes”, meaning high sea freight rates “are not likely to fall from their peaks any time soon”.
Maersk said it is also reviewing its relationship with Russian politician and businessman Sergey Shiskarev, with whom it owns Global Ports. The operator has six terminals in Russia.
Moscow-controlled nuclear company Rosatom is also a shareholder in Global Ports.
Maersk said: “With Global Ports, we are reviewing how to comply with the ever-changing sanctions and restrictions and preparing for possible next steps.”
It came as payments giants Mastercard and Visa also took action against Russia following calls for support from the Ukrainian government.
Mastercard said it blocked “several” financial institutions from its services following Western sanctions. Visa said it is also taking steps to ensure compliance.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-01 17:59:06