Santa Fe has confirmed that Interdean International Relocation Ukraine, which is under a franchise agreement with the group, resumed operations at its Kyiv office on 1 May, following its closure at the start of the war in Ukraine.
The company said it had begun quoting on jobs and was packing and moving around the capital city. It said the area had become safer, although there remained regular air raid alerts, during which people were warned to shelter from possible missile attacks.
It added that because people have fled the country, there was ‘still an extreme shortage of staff, including office personnel and packers’. Fuel is also scarce, particularly so after the bombing of the country’s main refinery in Kremenchuk.
‘Kyiv is experiencing extreme volatility of all costs including labour, packing materials, customs clearance and especially road freight due to the unstable security situation and uncertainty regarding fuel availability and prices,’ said the company.
Air and sea transport remains suspended, with Ukraine’s ports blocked. Transport to and from the country is therefore possible only by land routes.
Export shipments can be shipped from Kyiv using the Port of Constanţa in neighbouring Romania to ‘limited destinations’. Santa Fe said sea freight charges had increased at least US$3,000 for shipments with a large returnable deposit needed for every container.
Santa Fe said it was working on full pre-payment terms only ‘as all road and sea freight carriers request pre-payment of freight’ and subcontractors were requiring payment for packing services weekly, and ‘packing materials are produced only after full payment is arranged’.
It added that clients should check with it directly if they wanted packing and moving from and to other
Marina Chornokozha, General Manager, said: ‘The situation in Kyiv is quite stable at the moment and definitely incomparably better than in many other places in Ukraine, so we are trying to get back to what we do as soon as possible.’ She added that most of the company’s staff had returned to the office – and that the company was working to resolve issues, including the fact that two of its packers had been called up to the army.