Shipping traffic halted following Crimea bridge attack

Shipping from the Sea of Azov to international markets came to a standstill over the weekend in the wake of the attack that took out part of the bridge linking the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia.

The 19 km bridge, the longest in Europe, straddles the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea. It was attacked on Saturday in a dramatic raid that hit both the road and rail elements of the huge construction, with much debris ending in the sea below.

Typically around 15 to 16 ships – mainly tankers, followed by bulkers – enter this strait either from the south or north on a daily basis.

On October 7, 19 ships entered the strait according to data from shipping platform Sea/. The following day, when the bridge was attacked, five ships passed by and there has been no vessels passing through the waterway since, according to Sea/ with other vessel traffic sites showing congestion growing at ports in the Sea of Azov.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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