A.P. Moller – Maersk announced on Friday, June 14, that it is under discussions with Russian icebreaker operator to transmit more goods through the Arctic shipping line, as the line becomes easier to access due to climate changes that result to reduction of sea ice, according to Reuters.
As High North News informed, Maersk explores the possibility of providing a service in cooperation with Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker company Rosatomflot.
Since Russia has developed the northern sea route (NSR) it’s now easier to transport products from NSR to Suez Canal.
Last summer, Maersk carried out what it said was a one-off trial, becoming the first to send a container ship – loaded with Russian fish and South Korean electronics – on the route.
Generally, the Northern Sea Route is shorter than going via the Suez Canal and could further reduce sea transport times from Asia to Europe. Yet, vessels voyaging through the NSR need permission from Russian authorities.
In addition, Russian officials have informed that there’s a strong interest in the sea route from Asia; For instance, China published in 2018, its ‘Polar Silk Road’ white paper, concerning its Arctic policy, aiming to seize opportunities and face challenges in the region.
Moreover, Maersk reported to Reuters that
We have experienced growing demand for transport of goods from the Far East to West Russia, which we are currently exploring the possibilities of offering together with Atomflot.
Concluding, Maersk added that for the time being, the company has no plans on deploying its vessels in commercial service along the route.