JAS News Advisory: Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and Russia Situation

Graeme Robinson
March 11, 2022

UPDATE (MARCH 11, 2022) As the world has seen, the events in the Ukraine have worsened and our thoughts are with all the victims of this conflict. The developing humanitarian crisis is tragic, and the management and staff of several of our European organizations have launched independent initiatives to contribute foodstuffs and supplies for various charitable organizations inside Ukraine, with delivery already underway. We are grateful and moved by their actions.  

 In view of the situation, JAS Worldwide has decided to suspend services involving shipments to, from, or through Russia or Belarus. This includes shipments by air, road or ocean and includes the Rail Service between Asia and Europe. We are aware that this decision impacts our customers, and we will work diligently with them to try to reduce any negative impacts. Specifically, for the Asia-Europe rail service we will provide alternative routings via our FCL and LCL Ocean freight services, or via our Blue World Orient flight operations.

We will continue to review our position and will make adjustments once the situation improves.

(MARCH 2, 2022) The events in Ukraine are impacting trade with the countries involved and all modes of transport are deeply affected. Trade restrictions are still in the process of being implemented and more seems destined to come as we move through what is a rapidly developing situation. Adding to the turmoil, private industry, in the form of steamship lines and airlines, are also taking independent actions in the interests of protecting their personnel.

  • Air Freight: With airspace over Ukraine already closed and the EU/UK prohibiting Russian airlines from their airspace, already heavy traffic routes from Asia will worsen. Some airlines have indicated an unwillingness to traverse certain airspace outside of Ukraine and this will disrupt service schedules and transit times. Moreover, airlines are now beginning to introduce War Risk surcharges and with the major Russian cargo carrier Airbridge now suspended from landing within the EU, congestion from China to Europe seems likely. Fuel surcharges are also expected to rise and be passed along due to the cost of oil spiking. 
  • Ocean Freight: In response to closures and amid reports of attacks on civilian shipping, the Black Sea ports are largely being removed from port rotation by most major steamship lines. We see carriers beginning to discharge cargo at ports in Romania and elsewhere within the Mediterranean. Independent of regulatory concerns, Russia is now also being omitted by some of the very largest carriers, rendering bookings extremely difficult.
  • China/EU Rail freight via Russia: Northern routes remain open, while other routes, such as the ones that move via Chop in Ukraine, will switch to service via Malaaezwicze in Poland. The disruption will potentially create a backlog and while currently sanctions do not embargo use of the Russian Railroads, limitations on routes need to be considered prior to any bookings.  
  • Sanctions: At this time the EU, UK, and the US, along with others, have imposed sanctions on Russia, Russian banks, and specific individuals, all of which serve to heighten the tension in the region. In addition, sanctions are in place for the Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions of Ukraine currently under Russian control. Banking restrictions have also been imposed, increasing the difficulty for transportation companies. Expanded export controls are in place for many countries, especially the USA where new requirements target commodities in the hi-tech and aerospace industries.

Our Operational teams are monitoring the situation daily, assessing the impact and reviewing the inevitable delays. For the time being, under certain conditions and where possible, we will accept bookings to the impacted areas as the situation allows.

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