Grimaldi Group has helped hundreds of Ukrainians flee their besieged country and attain safe shelter and needed provisions in nearby countries.

The Italian owner of 52 ferries under eight brands has redeployed Grimaldi and Finnlines vessels that sail to Russia to send Ukrainian refugees to Italy and Scandinavia.

The family-owned group suspended all service to Russia from Spain, Belgium, UK, Germany and Italy on 9 March, two weeks after the country invaded Ukraine.

It has also stopped carrying any sanctioned goods or companies and transferred some of the ships to ferry services provided in the Baltic and North seas and Bay of Biscay.

Since 3 March, Grimaldi has transported 400 refugees to Naples, Italy for free and sent Italian volunteers and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian border.

Finnlines has brought another 280 refugees to Malmo, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

The two lines have also sent ambulances, buses, trucks and vans carrying humanitarian aid for free or at heavily discounted rates, the group said.

In addition, the Grimaldi Foundation has worked with groups such as the Orthodox Exarchate of Ukrainians and Protection4Kids to send supplies to refugees in Italy on Grimaldi ships.

It also plans to set up refugee housing in a city parish for 10 Ukrainian families with children by June.

The foundation’s Scuola della Famiglia effort plans to host two Ukrainian families this month and has joined with Naples’ Parish of Montesanto to send medical supplies and non-perishable goods to refugees in Chelm, Poland

“For the housing initiatives mentioned above, €280,000 have been allocated up to now,” Grimaldi Group spokeswoman Heidi Osterberg told TradeWinds.

“We will certainly spend all the money necessary to carry on present and future projects to help Ukrainian people.”

The Guido Grimaldi-led Logistics Association of Sustainable Intermodality has also given money from Verona’s mid-March LETExpo Conference and Exhibition to Ukrainian refugees.

“The Grimaldi Foundation is near those who are suffering, to disadvantaged families and children,” Osterberg said.

“This is its mission since its inception in 2007, and it still is an aspect of the Grimaldi family social responsibility action throughout its history.”