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  August 2nd, 2022 | Written by

Port St. Petersburg Traffic Plummets as MSC, CMA CGM Only Carriers to Call

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Global fleet capacity deployed to the Russian port of St. Petersburg has plummeted since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war.

According to the latest statistics from Alphaliner, fleet capacity deployed on regular intra-European services to and from St. Petersburg has been reduced by a staggering 82 per cent since the beginning of the conflict.

MSC and CMA CGM are the only carriers left to advertise sailings to/from the Russian port; however Unifeeder and COSCO Shipping have continued to send ships to St. Petersburg in the past weeks on off-schedule voyages.

Earlier this month Global Ports Investments PLC (Global Ports) noted that Russia’s container market has decreased by 17.3 per cent to 899,000 TEU in the first half of 2022.

MSC officially still advertises St. Petersburg calls on its North Europe – West Africa ‘NWC to/from Morocco – West Africa’ service but this line has been excluded from Alphaliner’s analysis as the last physical call at St. Petersburg already dates from 21 May. No ship is currently assigned to this loop heading for St. Petersburg.

MSC has added St. Petersburg to the rotation of its intra-Baltic ‘Loop 2’ served by the 1,683 TEU MSC VANQUISH now calling at Klaipeda, St. Petersburg and Kotka.

CMA CGM’s schedules for its Antwerp – Hamburg – Baltic ‘SSLEUR Baltic Shuttle Service A’ still mention St. Petersburg calls for the 2,487 TEU CMA CGM LOUGA and CMA CGM PREGOLIA in June; however Alphaliner has yet to have seen a continuation of this service in July.

Alphaliner noted that some of the larger vessels have been to Transatlantic routes: eight 1,380 – 3,600 TEU ships representing a total capacity of 24,200 TEU have been redeployed on the Transatlantic trade, where there is a huge demand for extra capacity.

Around half of the 43 ships that have left service to/from St. Petersburg continue to trade on North European services, focusing on destinations in Finland, Poland, the Baltic States and Scandinavian countries. These 22 ships represent a capacity of 37,800 TEU.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, Sealand (Maersk) deployed the most capacity to/from St. Petersburg on intra-North European services. All seven of its Baltic 3,596 TEU jumbo feeders (aka Winter Palaces) were making regular calls at the Russian port.

The Danish carrier continued calling at St. Petersburg until 29 April to recover empty boxes. On 4 May Maersk stopped all vessel operations in Russia and service with Belarus due to the ongoing conflict.

In April Russian vessels were banned from accessing EU ports.

Earlier this week Russia launched a missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Odesa less than a day after signing an agreement to resume grain shipments from the port.

Container flows at the Port of Rotterdam have dipped for the first half of the year as a result of the loss of container traffic to Russia and continued disruption to logistics networks around Europe.