THE Russia-Ukrainian War has caused disruption to global shipping and will continue to hinder supply chains, port congestion, and crew crises from the Covid crisis, reports Munich insurers Allianz Global.
The shipping industry has been affected on many fronts, primarily by the loss of life and vessels in the Black Sea.
The industry also faces challenges to day-to-day operations, with knock-on effects for crew, the cost and availability of bunker fuel, and the growing threat posed by cyber risk.
“Despite the tragic situation in Ukraine, and the threat to seafarers caught up in the conflict, the direct impact on shipping from the war in Ukraine has so far been largely contained to the Black Sea,” said Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) global head of marine risk consulting Captain Rahul Khanna.
“However, the war is creating an additional burden on the maritime industry, which is already dealing with ongoing supply chain disruption, port congestion, and a crew crisis caused by the pandemic.”
The cost of shipping a container on the world’s transoceanic trade routes increased seven-fold in the 18 months following March 2020.
“Trade with Russia and Ukraine will suffer, adding to already strained global supply chains. Longer-term, sanctions and a reduction in trade with Russia, could result in the redrawing of some supply chains and trade routes, but this all takes time and comes at a cost,” said Mr Khanna.
Ukraine’s major ports were closed due to the conflict and a Russian naval blockade of Ukraine.
The country ships 70 per cent of its exports, including 99 per cent of its corn exports.
A prolonged conflict is also likely to have deeper economic and political consequences.
Said AGCS global product leader marine hull Justus Heinrich: “We have already seen requests from shipowners who are considering using non-compliant bunker fuel that has a lower explosive temperature,”
“Longer term, we may see a shortage of bunker fuel with more and more vessels having to turn to non-compliant or substandard fuels, which could result in machinery breakdown claims in the future.”
A large part of the shipping sector will be touched by the conflict, according to Mr Khanna.
“In addition to the physical threats to shipping in and around the Black Sea from mines and rocket attacks, which is affecting trade, the availability and cost of bunker fuel, and the safety and welfare of crew, many container companies have already pulled out of Russia while the tanker sector faces huge restrictions and disruption, as do bulk and general cargo operators shipping Russian coal, wood, and grain,” said Mr Khanna.
Meanwhile, the Covid crisis outbreaks in China are further hurting supply/demand pressures for shipping.
Container and car carrier congestion at ports is increasing to previous highs, while the war impact is likely to create inefficiencies across the maritime transport system.
Lastly, at the start of the war, 2,000 seafarers were stranded aboard 94 vessels in Ukrainian ports, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
As of April 20, 2022, 84 merchant ships remained with 500 seafarers on board.
An estimated 1,500 seafarers have been repatriated with manning levels reduced.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) issued a warning in April 2022 that the ongoing risk of damage to merchant shipping in the Black Sea was high.
NATO also declared drifting mines in the Northwest, West, and Southwest areas of the Black Sea posed a threat to shipping.
Meanwhile, in April 2022, the London market’s Joint War Committee extended its high-risk advisory to include all of Russia’s waters.
As for combatting climate change, the shipping industry is coming under pressure to accelerate its sustainability efforts.
Source : shippingazette