Specifically, Jörg Erdmann, Senior Director Sustainability at Hapag-Lloyd argues that although NSR provides shorter voyage time and distances between Asia and Europe, the environmental impact of the lines large scale use by commercial shipping is still controversial.

Erdmann commented that

As long as there are no guarantees that these passages can be navigated without negatively impacting the environment, using them is out of the question for Hapag-Lloyd.

Moreover, asked about the ice-free conditions in NSR through summer because of the global warming, Erdmann added that the use of these passages should be carefully consider from both environmental and economic perspectives.

Recently, concerning the harmful effects in the NSR, Arctic Circle commented that although the route has experienced an increased economic growth the last years, it affects population, as many are those who are moving out.