Large Scale Maritime Activity in the Arctic ?

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The Copenhagen Business School recently completed a study on the feasibility of utilizing the Arctic Ocean for trade between northern Europe and the Far East.  Their findings show that the current rate of decay of the ice coverage in the Arctic will allow for the passage to be opened up for commercial viability by the year 2040.

The major advantages of the Arctic route would include:

  • a reduction in overall transit distance over the current Northern Sea Route(NSR) by up to 35% and
  • a cost reduction up to 10% per TEU in the short term.

Despite the possible advantages, some disadvantages remain:

  • navigation of these waters remain treacherous and
  • the concern of a vessel getting caught in a flash freeze remains

If the current trends that global warming are having on the polar ice caps continue, the realization of this route could come sooner than anyone expected.


To read the full Study please click here.