March recap: Russia sanctions, China lockdowns and global trade
The maritime ecosystem has experienced a great deal of uncertainty and sudden changes following Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine over a month ago. Sanctions, whether self-imposed by companies looking to protect their reputations or government-led, have already significantly impacted the world during a chaotic March, as evidenced by the shift in traffic in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea.
Another important change: freight forwarders are looking for alternatives to China-Europe rail freight routes that pass through Russia. Unsurprisingly, container shipping has noticeably slowed during the conflict. The resurgence of Covid in China, leading to port closures, is negatively impacting an already fragile global supply chain.
Despite the success of trade restrictions and sanctions, there is strong proof that certain entities are already finding workarounds. This is demonstrated by first-time visits to Russian territorial waters by foreign vessels, ship-to-ship interactions between Russia-affiliated and non-Russia-affiliated ships, and vessels removing their Russian flags. Following the OFAC advisory of 2020, the current conflict is yet another reminder that maritime ecosystem players should be proactively monitoring for deceptive shipping practices (DSPs).
This monthly summary is based on the same type of Windward proprietary behavioral data, extracted from our Maritime AI platform, that has been used by major media outlets, such as Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal in March. The summary is designed to highlight statistical trends that will help you better navigate the fog of war and an evolving seascape, and prepare for the immediate future.