Vast, Tenfold Increase in Arctic Transport Route

Russian Icebreaker Convoy on the NSR

Russian Icebreaker Convoy on the NSR

 

Oct. 27 (LPAC)–Japan’s NHK reports that cargo transport between
Asia and Europe on the Northern Sea Route has increased nearly
tenfold in the past 2 years.
Russian state firm Rosatomflot said on Friday that more than
one million tons of goods were shipped this year on this Arctic
sea route. The figure for 2010 was about 110,000 tons. The firm
said petroleum products and iron ore accounted for a large part
of the shipments. Around 60 percent of the cargo was transported
from Europe and Russia to Asia.
It’s attracting attention as vessels could cut travel time
between Europe and Asia to two-thirds compared to a route through
the Suez Canal. It’s also regarded safer for avoiding pirate
attacks off the Horn of Africa.
The increase in freight volume on the route is attributed to
a sharp decline in Arctic ice. Recent moves by the Russian
government of President Vladimir Putin to expand the country’s
interests in the Arctic Ocean are believed to be another factor.
A Rosatomflot official said most Asian firms currently using the
route are Chinese and South Korean. But the official expressed
hope that Japanese companies would also make more use of the
Arctic route.

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