DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1085.2013.00158

Advances in Polar Science 2013/24:3 PP.158-166

Scale and scope of maritime cargoes through the Arctic Passages

This paper investigates the sources of goods being shipped through the Arctic passages,and trade generated in the Arctic,including oil and gas exploitation.Furthermore,it assesses the present situation for maritime cargo shipped from the Far East to Northwestern Europe and North America.Two main types of cargo are predicted to pass through the Arctic passages in the future.First,about 10 million t of liquefied natural gas will be delivered from Russia and the Nordic Arctic to the Far East by 2030.Second,there will be two-way trade flow of containerized cargo from the Far East to Europe and the United States through the Northeast,Central and Northwest Passages.This will relieve pressure on present routes from the Far East to Northwestern Europe and North America.If Arctic navigation is technically possible in all seasons and shipping costs fall to those of ordinary ships,then assuming an equal share of shipping volume with the traditional canal routes,the maximum container freight passing through the Arctic passages by 2030 will be approximately 17.43 million TEUs(Twenty-foot Equivalent Units)per year,which is 85%of the volume transported on traditional canal routes in 2011.We conclude that there will be large-scale gas transportation through the Northeast Passage in the near future,and transit shipping across the Arctic will focus more on container transportation.The differences in shipping costs between Arctic routes and traditional canal routes are also compared.

Key words:Arctic shipping routes,canal routes,cargo,container transportation,liquefied natural gas,assessment

ReleaseDate:2015-04-16 13:27:14

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