Eastern European events impact global freight forwarding

1 March 2022

Eastern European events impact maritime, road, rail and air cargo

The current events in Ukraine are regrettable with the loss of innocent lives and significant risks on the lives of many civilians and military representatives. The conflict will also inevitably impact our economies and supply chains, and FIATA hopes that dialogue can come about to bring a prompt end to the conflict. At this moment in time, no one knows where this will lead, but FIATA's thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with our members in the affected areas.

For our industry, the effects on the global supply chain, and the impact on food and energy is clear. FIATA joins the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in urging the G7 to ensure that financial measures are carefully coordinated, and urge National Associations and governments to work with their local businesses to find ways to avoid further supply chain disruption, and any measures needed to resolve the crisis.

The maritime crisis will be intensified as ports become blocked, export and import is stalled, and sanctions cause overnight removal of tankers from the global charter market, causing spot rates and transport costs to climb.

On the road, blocked drivers are again experiencing poor facilities including lack of food, security and sanitary provisions, with the European Commission and some EU-member and non-member states calling for support for visa and permit waivers for drivers.

Rail freight is expected to be affected, with consequences for China-Europe rail freight. Effects such as the slowing or stopping of bilateral trade flows between China and Europe or a complete halt in transiting freight could be experienced. As a reminder, fifty percent of all EU-bound rail freight traffic enters via Russia and Belarus. That traffic rose 30% in 2021.

Air cargo will see an impact, with many flights having to reroute, this will notably impact air traffic between Europe and Asia and add to the difficulties encountered by the Aircargo industry during the Covid pandemic. 

IT experts are also prompting businesses to be alert to cyber attacks, keeping themselves protected and backed-up where possible, as a consequence of the current events.

FIATA will continue to support all its members in this challenging situation by liasing with international organisations. Should FIATA members have further questions, they can contact [email protected].