While European countries are considering, at this very moment, the possibility of banning Russian ships entering the ports of the Old Continent, the big companies have already taken action by temporarily suspending booking services for shipments with Russia.
According to Xeneta’s chief analyst, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and ONE’s decision is a step in the right direction because it mitigates the risks of congestion that would be created if all the traffic flows with the Soviet ports were stopped overnight. Thousands of containers would risk being blocked in European ports.
Suspending new bookings does not impact services, which remain operational, but it does reduce the number of containers coming in and therefore minimizes the impact that the interruption of services with Russia could have on the operational efficiency of EU ports. Mr. Sand said that it was a market of around 10,000 TEUs per day
Far greater problems would arise if rail links from China to Europe were disrupted as a result of the war. According to the analyst this would mean taking 500,000 TEUs off the market i.e. what the on-rail flow from the Dragon Empire to the Old Continent amounts to.
Half a million containers would then be redirected to ocean services, creating overcrowding problems on trade routes between Asia and Europe.
Translation by Giles Foster