The war in Ukraine led to major difficulties in the area of transportation. This is because one of the first sanctions imposed on Russia was to close airspace to Russian aircraft, and Russia responded by closing Russian airspace to most European aircraft. However, it is not only air cargo that has been affected by the impact of the war; rail transport and sea freight have also been affected.

Closure of airspace

After the EU decided to close airspace to all Russian aircraft, the Russian aviation authority’s response was to close Russian airspace to Western airlines. Belarusian and Ukrainian airspace are also currently closed. As Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of surface area, this means that there will be significantly longer flight times on many routes. This also applies to flights between Europe and Asian countries such as China. This not only means that transportation takes longer, but also that it becomes more expensive.


In addition, the restriction on Russian aircraft means that an important proportion of cargo flights are cancelled, as the Russian Volga-Dnepr Group still carried 110,000 tons of cargo to Europe and the USA last year. All planes of this group are currently not allowed to fly over EU countries and also not allowed to fly over American airspace. Some cargo planes of this group are stranded at German and other European airports because of this. Most European airlines, such as Lufthansa Cargo, are unable to fill this gap because they have already reached the limits of their capacity anyway due to the Corona pandemic. It is possible that Arab airlines, such as Emirates or Qatar will take over a large part, as they are not affected by the sanctions imposed by Russia and the EU and are allowed to fly everywhere.

Sea freight less affected

The situation is somewhat more relaxed at European ports, but they too are already feeling the effects of the war, as trade with Russia has been halted and many shipping companies have imposed booking stops for shipments to Russia. In terms of trade with China, no major problems are expected for sea freight, as the routes are distant from the conflict.

Rail transportation & traffic through Ukraine suspended

Just days before the war started, a new freight train connection between Germany and China was put into operation. However, the so-called Iron Silk Road passes through Ukraine and all train traffic there is currently suspended. In addition, many shipments passing through Russia or Belarus are cancelled or switched to sea freight, as overland transports are too risky and too fragile to delays due to the war.

It is not possible to make a serious forecast about the further development of the war and therefore also the restrictions and difficulties. Therefore, we recommend you to keep an eye on the current situation and then decide. If you decide to cooperate with Kaiserberg, together with our experts from the logistics industry, we can make you offers for different types of transportation.

Are you interested in a cooperation or do you have further questions? Feel free to send us a non-binding request via our contact form.