Tuesday, August 28, 2018 0 Comment 388 Views 0
On August 22, Maersk was reported that it would test the Arctic route this week, starting from Vladivostok, passing through the Bering Strait and eventually reaching St. Petersburg.

It is reported that the implementation of this test is the 3,600TEU ice class container ship "Venta Maersk".

Maersk said that the trial was mainly to collect relevant data and explore the operational feasibility of container transportation in the Arctic waterway. At present, due to factors such as customer demand, trade network and population distribution, the Arctic waterway is not another option for commercial operation of existing networks.

A spokesperson for Maersk said that we continue to pay attention to the development of the Arctic waterway. Currently, the Arctic channel is only available for three months per year, although this may change over time. In addition, the ship needs an icebreaker for navigation, so the cost will be higher than the traditional navigation route. The “Venta Maersk” ship was originally designed to serve the Baltic waters affected by ice.

"We plan to pilot an Arctic waterway, going from east to west, passing through the Bering Strait around September 1 and reaching St. Petersburg at the end of September," a Maersk spokesperson added. The voyage will transport frozen fish, general groceries and refrigerated products.
 Arild Moe, senior researcher at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo, said that there are still many restrictions on large-scale container transportation in the Arctic, for example, it cannot be used all year round; there is no corresponding market; the size of the ship is limited and the economies of scale are constrained.

Frederic Lasserre, a professor at Universite Laval Quebec, believes that shipping companies such as COSCO SHIPPING and Merchant Marine Mitsui are exploring the feasibility of sailing on the Arctic route. Maersk’s trial is also to see if it is possible to develop this niche market. 

On July 23, Russia provided the East/Westbound permit for the September 1st to September 20th to the "Venta Maersk".
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