South Korean regional carrier Sinokor Merchant Marine is maintaining its Busan-Vladivostok liner service, bucking a trend of liner operators suspending services to Russia in the wake of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company said that there are low security risks as Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, is far from the war zone.

Cargoes carried by Sinokor to Vladivostok are then received by Russia’s FESCO and Sakhalin Shipping Company. It has been surmised that if there are no longer ocean freight services between South Korea and Russia, many small and mid-sized South Korean exporters will lose an outlet for their goods.

In contrast, HMM, South Korea’s flagship liner operator, suspended its Russian Far East services in March. HMM had asserted that declining cargo volumes amid the war, did not make it feasible to continue and denied that international sanctions against Russia were the reason. Another South Korean intra-Asia carrier, Korea Marine Transport Company (KMTC Line), followed HMM in suspending its Busan-Vladivostok service.

While major mainline operators such as Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE have stopped calling at Russia, COSCO Shipping Lines continues to serve Russia, while Unifeeder is also carrying cargoes unaffected by sanctions.

Xeneta’s chief analyst, Peter Sand told Container News that the potential impact on the corporate image is persuading major corporations to cease business in Russia. “Reputational risk is seen high to many multinationals, making them close down in Russia,” he pointed out.

Source : Container-News