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Shipping group Maersk has halted all port calls in Ukraine until the end of February as a consequence of the conflict there, a company spokesperson said on Thursday.
Other shipping companies are on full alert since tensions rose in the region.
According to the operational data of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, for the whole of 2019, 1,003,500 TEU containers were handled in the ports.
TEU is a conventional unit of measurement based on the volume of a 20-foot (6.1 meters) intermodal container.
Ukraine has been in the midst of a trade and economic storm since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and Thursday’s invasion will ramp up tensions in the region.
At the Berdyansk Commercial Sea Port in southeastern Ukraine, volumes have fallen tenfold over the course of the conflict, according to Bloomberg.
Mariupol, another Sea of Azov port that is closer to the separatist fighting and has major steel and grain producers in its vicinity, is also suffering
Throughput roughly halved, from 13 million tons in 2013, to a low of 5.8 million in 2019.
If Odessa, on the Black Sea, is also heavily hit, this will result in a massive blow to the transshipment business in Ukraine. The Odessa ports handle three quarters of Ukraine’s sea trade.
As much as 70 percent of Ukraine’s exports and imports go by sea, whether from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
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