MarAd plans conference on Arctic shipping
The U.S. Maritime Administration said it is sponsoring an Arctic Transportation Conference to be held in Washington on June 5.
The conference will focus on maritime developments within the Arctic region as 'an emerging and valuable alternative ocean highway that will provide shorter travel distances for much of the world's international trade and commerce and help relieve existing vessel congestion at the two major inter-ocean canals,' MarAd said.
The first part of the conference will define U.S. government policy in developing the Arctic region as a resource for international trade and transportation. The second part will be devoted to U.S. industry and its role in the expansion of the Arctic Region as sea routes become available.
“As a founding member of the Arctic Council, the United States, through the National Security Council Arctic Planning Coordinating Committee, the International Arctic Science Committee, and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, has conducted studies that suggest that over the last decade a reduction in the extent of sea and ice in the Arctic Region is occurring. In certain parts of the Arctic (Northern Sea Route), significant commercial transportation is accruing, and it is predicted that Trans-Arctic commercial shipping will start in the near future,” the agency said. “The Arctic has the potential to become an important route for trade and commerce between the United States, Europe and the Eastern Pacific regions.”
A detailed agenda can be found here: http://www.marad.dot.gov/pdf/AGENDA%20-%20Arctic%20Transportation%20Conference%20June%205%202008.pdf