A month ago news was that 3 large global [naval] shipping companies were suspending routes to Russia for all but essentials.

While Russia has been fighting back some of the sanctions with fairly publicized countermeasures (like demanding payments for its exports in rubles and imposing various forms of capital controls like preventing Western asset holders from selling their Russian shares, or their own citizens from buying foreign currencies etc.), I haven't heard a lot of what the may have been doing to fight off this "private embargo" by the 3 shipping giants.

Basically, has Russia managed to either make these companies relax their restrictions, or did Russian companies manage to book significant alternative shipping with others, e.g. with Chinese companies like COSCO? I'm mostly interested in objective data on this matter.

(N.B. I'm aware that they recently announced they'd allow "parallel imports" (i.e. grey market products) into Russia, but that alone won't solve shipping issues much as they still need to get these grey market products shipped from those other countries to Russia.)

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I can't answer the actual question, but some observations: Neither Denmark nor Germany have apparently blocked shipping to the port of St. Petersburg and at the time of writing, several ships are in port there or expected shortly, including two large container freighters from Maersk, registered in Denmark.

Of course it's not possible to tell what they have loaded, so we do not know how much the company sticks to their own announcement. At least they don't block Russia completely, even though all cargo that goes trough Germany needs to be manually controlled for forbidden goods now (Weapons obviously, but also other dual-use goods). Technically, the EU members Denmark and Germany would have the possibility to put a complete embargo on any shipping trough the baltic sea to Russia. This would be a much larger problem for Russia than to switch to other shipping companies, because all other Russian ports are a lot farther away from the large cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, or the war zone in the south.

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    "Technically EU members Denmark and Germany would have the possibility to put a complete embargo on any shipping trough the baltic sea to Russia." How exactly? With a sea blockade enforced by their navies? Then they would also need Sweden to cooperate, because ships heading to St.Petersburg could still pass the Kattegat through Swedish waters.
    – Philipp
    Apr 1, 2022 at 10:38
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    @Philipp No, that doesn't even need the navy, really. Germany controls the Kiel-Channel, and a ship can't pass that channel and its locks by force. And Denmark controls the traffic trough the belts and the sound, and cargo ships aren't allowed to pass there without permission and a pilot either.
    – PMF
    Apr 1, 2022 at 10:47
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    The passage solely trough Swedish waters is not legally possible for anything larger than a sailboat.
    – PMF
    Apr 1, 2022 at 10:54
  • Also there's a MSC ship on the list. Liberian flagged as many of them are. But we'd need some basis of comparison, like some time period before the war. Apr 1, 2022 at 11:14
  • @user253751 Good question what happens. I guess the Danish authorities will write a shipping report and that ship/company will have their ship security certificate invalidated. Which will mean that that ship can't legally enter any port anywhere in the world. In Denmark, this will probably call the navy on the scene as it is a threat to security. They take the reporting requirements very serious.
    – PMF
    Apr 1, 2022 at 11:41

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