Russia’s ocean container imports continue to collapse as shipping lines wind down the last remnants of their services to the country’s ports. Russia still has cargo import options, yet the loss of virtually all of its ocean shipping links makes obtaining consumer goods and components much more difficult.
Elvira Nabiullina, Russia’s Central Bank chairwoman, recently warned that the range of consumer goods available in her country is already shrinking and Russian companies needing foreign components are facing “serious problems.”
The world’s top container lines paused bookings to Russia in the days after the invasion of Ukraine. However, some service continued, including efforts to evacuate liner-owned empty containers from Russian ports. Data provider VesselsValue tracks the weekly frequency of container-ship calls at Russian ports. In the nine weeks since the invasion (through the first week of May), weekly calls were down 38% compared to the nine weeks prior to the invasion.
The drop was driven by a 55% plunge in calls to Russia’s European ports. There were just four calls to Novorossiysk during the first week of May, according to VesselsValue. That’s less than a third of the pre-invasion weekly average.