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March 4, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 2:20pm

Port of Hamburg terminal operators halt Russian container handling

HHLA’s rail subsidiary, Metrans, will also suspend container transport to and from Russia.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict


German container terminal operators Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and Eurogate have discontinued all container handling to and from Russia in light of the conflict in Ukraine.

These restrictions are in line with the sanctions imposed by the European Union.

HHLA’s rail subsidiary, Metrans, has also decided to suspend container transport to and from Russia.

These measures, which intend to isolate Russia economically, are expected to have a financial impact on the Port of Hamburg as well.

Last year, terminals in Hamburg processed 337,000 TEU in seaborne transport with the Russian Federation.

Several shipping firms, including Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, MSC, ONE and CMA CGM, have already terminated almost all bookings to and from Russia.

However, food, medicines and other humanitarian items are excluded from the restrictions.

At present, customs staff are determining which freight is involved in specific cases for exports, as automatic clearance of goods for Russia has been cancelled.

Goods named in the sanctions list will not receive export clearance, while other freight will continue to be transported.  

Port of Hamburg Marketing joint CEO Axel Mattern said: “We handled 337,000 TEU in seaborne traffic with Russia last year. That total will now be distinctly lower. The Port of Hamburg has hitherto been one of the most significant hubs for Russian imports and exports. There have so far been 13 liner services between the Port of Hamburg and the Russian ports of St Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Kaliningrad, Bronka, Murmansk and Archangel.”

Amidst Russia-Ukraine tensions, French authorities have captured four cargo ships and one luxury yacht linked to oligarchs.

This comes after the US, along with other governments, mounted sanctions on ultra-wealthy Russians.

Recently, two vessels have been sunk in the Black Sea near the port of Odesa, Ukraine.

These vessels were a Panama-flagged cargo ship, Helt, and a Bangladeshi-owned cargo ship named Banglar Samriddhi.

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