Global supply chain stress test

The conflict in Ukraine is having a terrible humanitarian impact on Europe as people face food and water shortages. In the first four weeks of the war, more than four million people fled the second largest country in Europe. Six million more people have fled Ukraine since the war began. Russian bombs destroyed the port city of Mariupol, and the war also affected international trade in goods.

Many connections between Western Europe and China rely on Ukraine, Belarus or Russia as transit countries. The sanctions against Russia are also causing problems in the flow of goods between China and Europe. The train connections between China and Europe are therefore partially suspended.

The conflict in Ukraine is disrupting merchant shipping

Odessa is the largest port on the Black Sea. Merchant ships must constantly avoid obstacles. This delays the production of goods and services. Insurers are already reacting to the new health care reform law. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine disrupts Black Sea supply chains. The risks for merchant ships have increased due to the current situation. According to Ventsislav Ivanov, director of the Bulgarian Maritime Authority, insurers have increased insurance premiums for sailing on the Black Sea. He assures us that the safety of the ships is guaranteed. In the Romanian port of Constanța, merchant ships with shipments that were originally intended for destinations in Odessa or the Moldovan Danube port of Giurgiuleşti are stowed away. The ships transport general cargo, bulk goods and containers. The port can handle an additional 6,000 to 7,000 containers per day. The space for interim storage of the containers is quickly running out because not enough trucks can transport the goods immediately.

“We have already been asked for help, but some ports are not equipped for ships with deep keels. There are no Bulgarian carriers willing to take the risk of paying outstanding storage fees,” said the director of the National Association of Bulgarian Transport Companies.

On March 26, 2022, traffic on the Bosphorus was disrupted for four hours because of a floating sea mine. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.