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COSCO continues trading with Russia unlike other major container lines

The vast majority of the global container shipping companies have temporarily halted their cargo bookings to and from Russia due to Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The Chinese ocean carrier COSCO Shipping, however, still offers services in Russia.

COSCO Shipping continues to transfer goods to Russia with its tanker fleet transporting crude oil, which is Russia’s major export commodity to China.

"COSCO is offering economic succour for Russia as it faces a barrage of economic sanctions from various governments," said Sathiya Jalapathy, business fundamentals analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData.

On the other hand, MSC, which operates in Russia through its subsidiary MSC Rus, stopped accepting cargo bookings to and from Russia, covering the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and Far East Russian regions.

In addition, CMA CGM’s Russian subsidiary, with nine offices in the country, including Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Moscow, serving seven Russian ports, has suspended its operations.

Maersk has also halted temporarily its container shipping operations to and from Russia, announcing the suspension of its ocean and inland cargo bookings, while the Danish shipping company intends to sell its 30.75% stake in the Russian port operator Global Ports Investments.

Furthermore, HMM halted cargo bookings on two of its shipping routes to and from Russia, with low demand, with a capacity of 1,700 TEU on each container vessel, on the Busan to Vostochny and Busan to Vladivostok routes. However, the company stated that this stoppage will not have any impact on its performance and that it will fulfill previous bookings.

The Singapore-based Ocean Network Express has also suspended cargo bookings to and from Odessa in Ukraine, and Novorossiysk and Saint Petersburg in Russia, according to Global Data.

Moreover, German Hapag-Lloyd, which operates in the country through offices in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Novorossiysk and Saint Petersburg, has also stopped bookings to and from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

However, essential goods such as medical equipment, food, and humanitarian aid continue to be transported according to the data and analytics company GlobalData.

"The decision by many global shipping companies to halt their services to Russia could put the country in a difficult position as it will struggle to import goods such as motor vehicles and spare parts, industrial machinery and equipment, apparel and electrical machinery," commented Sathiya Jalapathy.

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