PACIFIC MARITIME MAGAZINE
Promise of the Arctic 2015
By Kathy A. Smith
The rush to push shipping into the Arctic due to receding ice is a little premature say those know the region.
For a start, the majority of ice that is melting is along the Northern Sea Route or Northeast Passage along the north coast of Russia, allowing shipping to take place primarily during the summer months. Conversely, on the northwest side of the polar cap, there is only a two-week period – not consistently the same annually – when the Northwest Passage is open to commercial marine traffic.
While a DNV report on the issue of containerships transiting the Northwest Passage (NWP) suggests traffic could begin between 2030 and 2050, currently, the sheer logistics carry too much economic uncertainty with the unpredictability of ice and snow, which could easily wreak havoc on schedules. .. MORE