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Shipping giant Maersk to stop buying Russian oil

Maersk has stopped buying Russian oil for its cargo fleet following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, revealed outgoing chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe at the company’s annual shareholder meeting today.

Earlier this month, the shipping giant announced plans to sell its holdings in four Russian ports, and to halt cargo bookings to Russia – suspending ocean, air and rail operations.

This follows similar moves from energy giants such as BP and Shell – alongside consumer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike and McDonald’s.

Maersk which controls about 17 per cent of the world’s container freight, has also dropped all intercontinental rail bookings between Asia and Europe.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Snabe recognised the decision to cut ties with Russian markets and its fuel supplies will be costly, but that it was the “right call from both a moral and financial point of view”.

Snabe also outlined that Russia will suffer long-term problems as former trade partners find alternatives to Russian energy and wheat exports, which Snabe argues will remain in place long after the war in Ukraine comes to an end.

The shift from Russian oil also comes after it pushed forward its plans to reach net zero carbon net zero – moving its target date from 2050 to 2040.

In recent months, Maersk has been trialling experimental fuels, and is looking to cut its environmental impact with short and medium emissions targets.

This includes a 50 per cent reduction in emissions per transport container as well as 70 per cent cut in absolute emissions from fully controlled terminals.

By 2023 the Maersk will have the world’s first liner operating on green methanol – and is aiming to have a 16,000 TEU vessel capable of using the green technology within a year.

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