Port St Petersburg traffic falls; MSC, CMA CGM are the only carriers to call

The global fleet capacity using the Russian port of St Petersburg has fallen significantly since Russia invaded Ukraine this February, according to the latest statistics from Alphaliner.

Fleet capacity deployed on regular intra-European services to and from St Petersburg has come down by 82%, with MSC and CMA CGM the only carriers still advertising sailings to and from the Russian port. Unifeeder and COSCO Shipping have continued to send ships to St Petersburg in the past weeks, but only on off-schedule voyages.

Global Ports PLC recently observed that Russia’s container market in H1 2022 had come down by 17.3% to just shy of 900,000 teu.

MSC officially still advertises St. Petersburg calls on its North Europe – West Africa ‘NWC to/from Morocco – West Africa’ service but this line has been excluded from Alphaliner’s analysis as the last physical call at St Petersburg dates from May 21st. No ship is currently assigned to this loop heading for St. Petersburg.

MSC has added St Petersburg to the rotation of its intra-Baltic ‘Loop 2’ served by the 1,683 teu MSC Vanquish, now calling at Klaipeda, St. Petersburg and Kotka.

CMA CGM’s schedules for its Antwerp – Hamburg – Baltic ‘SSLEUR Baltic Shuttle Service A’ still mentioned St. Petersburg calls for the 2,487 teu CMA CGM Louga and CMA CGM Pregolia in June.

Alphaliner said that about half of the 43 ships that have left service to/from St. Petersburg continued to trade on North European services, focusing on destinations in Finland, Poland, the Baltic States and Scandinavian countries. These 22 ships represent a capacity of 37,800 teu.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it was Sealand (Maersk) that deployed the most capacity to/from St. Petersburg on intra-North European services, with seven 3,596 teu jumbo feeders making regular calls there. Maersk continued calling at St Petersburg until April 29th to recover empty boxes. On May 4th Maersk stopped all vessel operations in Russia and service with Belarus.

In April Russian vessels were banned from accessing EU ports.