The Great Exodus - Military Action Forces Vessels to Head for Safety
With the military situation deteriorating in and around Ukraine, the usually busy trade lane between the Bosporus Strait and the Ukrainian ports has become a one-way passage. Virtually all dry bulk vessels at sea in the area are heading south or for ports in Romania and Bulgaria. Adding to the sense of urgency is the fact that many ships steaming south or west still maintain a Ukrainian port as their destination, suggesting that the decisions to divert have been made in a rush and with no time to update AIS transponders.
According to Shipfix data, eleven of the twenty-two vessels at sea in the area pictured above are still listing Ukrainian ports as their objective, despite heading in the opposite direction. At the same time, 117 dry bulk carriers remain moored or anchored along the coast in Western Ukraine. Many of these are flying the Ukrainian flag, indicating that they had no options to leave for safer waters.
There have also been reports that one commercial vessel, the Turkish flagged 61,100 DWT Yasa Jupiter, has been damaged by shelling as it left the port south of Odessa. Despite some damages, the vessel, chartered by commodity trader Cargill, has managed to continue its voyage.