Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, economic sanctions and military action have severely affected the parcel and logistics industry.
Ukraine’s postal service Ukrposhta has blocked the exchange of mail and transfers with Russia and Belarus. The company has stated that “all previously accepted shipments will be returned to the senders with reimbursement”, as soon as this can be done considering the security issues in Kyiv. Shipments from Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland, to send parcels abroad are to be carried out by land transport, via highways from Western Ukraine and from several other key cities.
As Ukraine’s skies are closed to civil aviation, Ukrposhta cannot use cargo planes. However, on March 3, the post was able to resume flights between Ukraine and USA, as part of a charter program to support small and medium-sized businesses. Exports will be delivered to New York once a week and humanitarian aid to Ukraine on the way back. The first flight from Warsaw to New York is scheduled for March 8 and the post plans for these flights to become part of its regular service in the near future.
Igor Smilyansky, general director of Ukrposhta, said, “We have found an opportunity to support thousands of Ukrainian entrepreneurs so that they do not lose their jobs and can deliver their goods to global trading platforms, including Amazon and Etsy. As these marketplaces joined the sanctions against Russia and blocked Russian sellers, I think it is right to take advantage of the situation to Ukrainian entrepreneurs and offer their goods to the world.
“In addition, a charter en route from the USA to Ukraine will carry humanitarian aid from the international community. These are food, medical supplies. Up to 40 tons of humanitarian aid can be loaded per flight. We call on foundations and organizations to help with funds for sending humanitarian goods to our country. Ukraine needs your support.”
InPost has used its transport fleet to deliver products collected in Poland; 11 semi-trailers of supplies went from the Polish cities of Lodz and Warsaw to Przemysl at the Ukraine border. Additionally, InPost transported medicines to the District Epidemiological Station in Ustrzyki on the Ukrainian border, and humanitarian aid from Israel between Warsaw Chopin Airport and its warehouse in Ozarow.
Rafal Brzoska, CEO of InPost, said, “We have been helping since the first dramatic events that reached us from Ukraine. We support Polish cities in carrying out transport of collected items for our neighbors from Ukraine and have so far managed to complete several dozen such drives. We deliver products by InPost trucks and vans from Polish cities to the Ukrainian border.”
Several delivery providers have suspended their services to Russia and Ukraine until further notice, including FedEx to Russia, DHL shipments to and from Ukraine and inbound Russia, and PostNL to Russia. Transportation and shipping company CMA CGM has stated that it intends to maintain constant contact with its employees in Ukraine alongside raising its alert levels and taking preventive measures to protect its IT systems.
Logistics UK is working with the UK’s business representation organization, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), to provide humanitarian aid. The company stated, “Airfreight capacity, and subsequently road transport, is urgently needed to move donated food, medicines, clothing and other items to Poland and Germany, to support those fleeing the fighting in Ukraine.”
However, Royal Mail’s service to Russia remains in operation. On February 28, the company stated, “We are continuing to work closely with Russia Post and will provide updates if there are any changes to our service moving forward.”