North Black Sea Crisis Update

Ships’ incurable waiting at Ukranian ports continue while Kerch passage is open to limited traffic under Russian control. Some Turkish vegoil tankers are now in transit to Türkiye. Governments and multinational companies help their staff leave Ukraine.

Limited ceasefire may allow crew evacuations to a certain extend but if the fairways and harbor exits are blocked, ships will be stranded for some more time. Unavailibility of needed assistance like tugs is part of the hurdle, leave alone the laid mines and scuttled vessels.

The ships able to transit south will probably drop anchor for supplies at Istanbul roads which may hinder smooth traffic flow. Heavy traffic with the white touch of heavy snowfall will keep vessel traffic service (VTS) managers busy.

Insurers are bringing up important points in the policies which all should re-read between the lines to minimize the agony that shouts from far for now.

Priority is the safety of crews, then updates on cargoes and  ships will follow. Issues like skeleton crews, abondened ships, and  FDD (Freight, Demurrage, Defence) protection are to be discussed at a later stage.

Nazım Karadağ

March 10, 2022, Istanbul

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