War in Ukraine: what happens to logistics?

Pubblished on: 15 June 2022
Category: About shipping

In an interconnected world, conflict in one country inevitably affects others. Such is the case with the current war being waged in Ukraine, which is having a ripple effect on businesses and on the daily lives of people far beyond its borders.

Consequences in both directions

The first and most natural consequence of the war in Ukraine is a drastic decrease in exports from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to the rest of Europe, but the opposite direction is affected as well, with major companies withdrawing from Russia and imports from countries that are considered hostile being banned by the Russian government.

Other than logistics and transports, the fields that have suffered the most are agriculture, which has been strongly affected by the interruption of Ukrainian exports of wheat, sunflower oil, and fertilizers; industries requiring high amounts of energy; construction and the automotive sector, which are suffering from a stop to the export of raw materials from belligerent countries; electronics, which have taken a hit because of the reduction in the availability of noble gases; and of course, tourism, which inevitably suffers in troubled times when traveling puts lives at risk.

Naturally, the dangers of moving goods and people in times of war do not affect only those who would travel for recreation: let’s take a closer look at the effects of the war on transports and logistics.

Transports in times of war

Transports between Ukraine and the EU have become challenging both by air and by land, with a severe lack of truck drivers able to make the dangerous journey and the deployment of air forces affecting the safety of commercial airplane routes.

Sea shipping has also been affected by the war, with the ports of Berdyansk, Mariupol, Skadovsk, and Kherson along the coast of Ukraine being shut down until such time as the Russian forces withdraw from the area and operations can resume safely. The loss of several sea ports is predicted to make the prices of wheat and corn, which are major Ukrainian exports, spike across the continent.

Railway stations and tracks are also a major objective of the attacks, as Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union have a tendency to rely on railway transport for military purposes more than the rest of Europe. The movement of Ukrainian troops and goods began a reform in 2015, but with the condition of the country’s roads being less than optimal even before the war and the lack of state-of-the-art maintenance supplies on the part of Ukrainian railway technicians, shipping by rail is still a very important part of the country’s logistics and the loss of a major railway station can be a significant setback both for the war effort and the economy at large.

Keep following us for more information on how the current geopolitical situation is affecting the trading and shipping sector: we at Global Shipping take pride in staying updated on recent events and adapting to the challenges of this difficult time in history.

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