Global air freight will become more difficult, costly and slower in the near term due to the closure of airspace over Ukraine and Russia.
A number of western airlines are currently barred from Russian airspace in retaliation for Russian airline, Aeroflot, being banned from the airspace of a number of European countries such as the United Kingdom (UK).
AerCap Holdings, the global leader in aircraft leasing, announced it will cease leasing activity with Russian airlines due to European Union (EU) sanctions. AerCap must end all its leasing activities in Russia by the end of March. An estimated 140 aeroplanes will need to be recovered from Russia.
Boeing and Airbus have suspended maintenance, technical support and sending spare parts to Russia.
The UK Treasury is looking to stop all Russian aviation companies accessing insurance and reinsurance services directly or indirectly from Lloyds of London.
Redirecting flights from Europe to north Asia could add another 12-14 hours to flight times for cargo. There is likely to be a reduction in air freight capacity over the next few weeks.
Maersk and MSC have suspended sailings into and out of Russian ports. Maersk said the only exception would be for shipments of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies.
MSC, has stopped bookings “covering all areas including Baltics, Black Sea and far east Russia.”
The UK Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, announced on Monday 28 February that vessels from Russia will be banned from docking in the UK. The UK government released legislation on Tuesday 1 March.
The UK Department for Transport is drawing up a “blacklist” of vessels that will be distributed to UK port officials.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Tuesday 1 March, calling for EU ports to block Russian vessels from entering. The EU restrictions go further than the UK and include “ships whose last or next port of call is in the Russian Federation, except in the case of necessary justified humanitarian reasons”.
Canada has also implemented a ban on Russian vessels entering ports.
In addition to government sanctions, many dock workers around the world are refusing to load or unload Russian cargo or vessels.
20,000 workers at 29 ports on the US west coast “will refuse to load or unload any Russian vessels or Russian cargo coming into or going out of all west coast ports”.
Blocking vessels owned or controlled by Russian interests from entering ports will be complicated according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data. This is because it may be difficult to determine whether vessels are flagged, owned or operated by entities based in Russia.
It is anticipated that governments will focus on the approximate 400 trading vessels over 10,000 dwt.
Global supply chains already under strain before the Ukraine crisis
Global supply chains have already faced huge disruption in 2021 and 2022, caused by a number of issues including Covid 19.
Businesses shipping goods to and from the UK have also faced specific issues in addition to global factors. A shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, caused a backlog of shipping containers forced container ships to divert from Felixstowe to neighbouring European ports to offload their cargo.
Brexit has added much more complexity and paperwork to goods being shipped between the EU and Great Britain. The introduction of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and Goods Movement Reference (GMR) numbers, alongside new rules of origin requirements, has been blamed by some businesses as the cause of recent delays at Dover. Businesses have warned that new customs requirements have pushed up costs and added to delivery times.
About Us - Tudor International Freight
Established in Horsforth, Leeds, back in 1991, we are a logistics company who are experts in road, air and sea freight. We transport goods to most major cities, towns and suburbs across all 6 continents. We go over and above to ensure that our client’s products, goods and cargo are transported around the world safely and successfully. We are a family business, who are still based in Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.