• ITVI.USA
    15,845.180
    -15.980
    -0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.806
    0.013
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.590
    0.130
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,846.760
    -20.840
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,845.180
    -15.980
    -0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.806
    0.013
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.590
    0.130
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,846.760
    -20.840
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShipping

COSCO considering increased use of Northeast Passage

An executive of the ocean carrier commented on the seldom-used route after the Chinese general cargo ship Yong Sheng finished a round trip voyage between China and Europe by sailing through the Arctic waters of the Northeast Passage.

   COSCO is considering increasing the number of ships sailing between Asia and Europe through the Arctic Sea.
   China’s Xinghua news agency quoted Cai Meijiang, general manager of the safety and technical supervision department of COSCO, who said, “The company is considering increasing the number of ships sailing via the new path.”
   He made his comments after the Chinese ship Yong Sheng finished a round trip between China and Europe by sailing through the Arctic waters of the Northeast Passage and docking at Tianjin. The 19,000-dwt general cargo vessel made a similar voyage in 2013.
   An story in the Japan Times quoted an unnamed spokeswoman COSCO as saying, “There is an intention to open a regular line in the future and people are discussing it,” without giving a specific timetable.
   Although it can only be used during the summer season, from July to November, the Arctic passage is around 8,100 nautical miles, 2,400 nautical miles shorter sailing through the Suez Canal for ships traveling from Shanghai to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, according to the Northern Sea Route Information Office. Transiting the Northeast Passage can cut 12 to 15 days off voyage times between Asia and North Europe compared to the traditional Suez routing.
   Bjorn Gummarson, managing director of the NSR Information Office, recently told the Wall Street Journal, “The Cosco plan shows the potential of the NSR, but a lot more needs to be done to turn it into a major sea route. The ports along the route need to be developed to handle more cargo, along with plans to tackle oil spills and search-and-rescue operations. As temperatures get warmer, navigation becomes easier, but ice-class ships are expensive to build and in parts of the passage the waters are quite shallow, allowing only medium-sized vessels to pass through.”

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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