Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world’s leading maritime services provider, advises that thickening sea ice, resulting from particularly low temperatures across Eastern Europe, is causing disruption to shipping across the Black Sea.
While relevant port authorities are working hard to keep shipping lanes open, vessels heading to Eastern Black Sea ports in Russia and the Ukraine are experiencing berthing delays.
The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port in Russia was closed for two days this week due to strong winds and freezing temperatures. Vessels arriving today and over the weekend will now have a one or two day wait to berth.
Harbourmasters in Odessa, Ukraine, are now demanding a letter of guarantee from owners and operators of non ice-classed ships, which confirms that they will honour higher port charges arising out of ice-breaking and increased tug deployment.
Kadir Kaya, Managing Director, ISS Turkey, said: “Black Sea shipping is feeling the effects of the European chill, with shipments of oil and other commodities being delayed. We are aware of several ships awaiting permission to enter Novorossiysk and of delays caused by slow progress through ice fields across the region. ISS can offer advice and support to shipowners and operators on port delays and closures, and will provide services to ensure the welfare of crews.”