Maersk says it may suspend all deliveries to Russia

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A crane loads a shipping container branded A.P. Moller-Maersk onto a freight ship.

Balint Porneczi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping container firms, said on Monday that it may suspend all deliveries to and from Russia in light of sanctions against the Kremlin following its invasion of Ukraine.

The Danish shipping giant said it was “closely monitoring and preparing to comply with the ever-evolving sanctions and restrictions” imposed against Russia as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine entered its fifth day.

“Our preparations include a possible suspension of Maersk bookings to and from Russia on ocean and inland,” Marsek said in a statement.

“We are at the same time keeping a close eye on developments and assessing the best options for our customers and their cargo.”

The U.S., European Union, Canada and Britain have all announced sanctions targeting Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week. The measures include blocking certain banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system and freezing the assets of Russia’s central bank.

Maersk said on Monday that it would do its “utmost” to ensure cargo already on the water reaches its intended destination.

“It’s also worth noting that air space is also gradually being restricted and our air services will be impacted,” the company said.

Shares of Maersk were down 3% on the news, having slipped more than 11% year-to-date.

The shipping giant has been active in Russia since 1992 and operates routes to and from the key ports of St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Vladivostok, Vostochny and Kaliningrad.

The company said last week it had stopped accepting bookings to and from Ukraine until further notice.