ABS has signed a Cooperation Agreement on Trans-Arctic Shipping Development with China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO). ABS Greater China Division President and COO Eric Kleess and Captain Meijiang Cai, Director of COSCO Safety & Technology Supervision Division, signed the agreement in Shanghai, China. ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Howard Fireman and COSCO Executive Vice President Mr. Yuhang Wang also attended the signing ceremony.
Changing climate conditions have opened new operational and trading opportunities in previously unnavigable areas, and these new opportunities are attractive to the shipping industry. Using the Northern Sea Route for a voyage between the principal Asian and European ports reduces the distance by nearly 4,000 miles compared to the traditional route through the Suez Canal.
“ABS is excited to work with COSCO to develop this pioneering trading route,” Kleess says. “Combining ABS’ technical experience with COSCO’s successful use of the Northeast Passage with the first Chinese merchant ship, Yongsheng, navigating this route creates a solid foundation for jointly promoting the development of sustainable shipping in Arctic waters.”
“We are proud of the successful navigation through Arctic waters and the contribution we are making to Trans-Arctic shipping,” Captain Cai says. “Further cooperation between COSCO and ABS will allow us to make new contributions to the sustainable use of Arctic sea routes.”