It’s understood, the world’s maritime routes are core to global trade and the Arctic route isn’t an exception. But the subject route hasn’t been accessible for decades due to ice, yet efforts have been made by engineers to ensure freights are shipped to and fro Russia’s Arctic region during the winter exclusively with the aid of icebreaker ships. However, looking at the current climate it will be fair to say that operating tens and dozens of icebreaker ships could mean somewhat off the budget of the country’s maritime sphere.
Going forward, navigating through this region hasn’t in any way encouraged the country’s economic doors precisely ports within the axis of the vast areas covered with ice. Hence, she has been restrained from participating actively in the marine-related and international business which cuts across in totality of her territorial waters and, as such, has not had its fair shear in this regard. However, prior to the development of modern icebreaker ships, which meant specifically during the winter, Russia was only landlocked, even today. The ice lock cause meant several denials, such as been prevented from accessing the global ocean, which includes all the benefits that come with it, and more significantly foreign trade.
At the moment, Russia only operates a fleet of thirty-one (31) modern icebreaker ships that can only do so much in many places. But there are concerns over operating these icebreaker ships if not for anything along the subject axis, and this is because it’s very costly and not economical from an expert’s point of view, bearing in mind that Russia’s economic climate is still far from its best shape. However, this will be a huge breakthrough for the country if her anticipated good news eventually becomes a reality, owing to the fact that the Arctic is melting very fast, and as such, the subject country is looking with her finger crossed to tap from the world ocean benefits.
According to reports regarding the Arctic route, “it’s been found using the data that the Arctic sea is decreasing at an alarming rate of nearly 13% per year, and given that trajectory, the Arctic will almost be entirely ice-free during the mostly Summers as soon as the 2030’s – next decade and once again this will be a huge boom for Russia. Because of this the North Sea Route (NSR), currently, if a cargo ship is deployed to transport goods from the busiest port of Asia (Shanghai) to Europe (Rotterdam), the quickest and most efficient way possible is among this route that flows through the ‘Suez Canal’ and then into the Mediterranean – down that crosses to English channel”.
Therefore, Russia intends to change or alter the Ship Transit Route from Asia to Europe with the help of melting Arctic ice. This is because the Ship Transit Route from Asia’s busiest port – Shanghai to Rotterdam in Europe via the ‘Suez Canal’ route which is 18,000km long and will take roughly 37 days of travel time to transit. Whereas ships travelling along the North Sea Route (NSR) from Shanghai to Rotterdam will only have to end up travelling 10,500km and will take 22 days of Transit Time to get there, this isn’t just great news to shipping companies but the icing on the cake. Saving a distance of 7,500km (75000) and 15 days of travel time over the ‘Suez Canal’ route. While at the moment, the ‘Suez Canal’ route is the only alternate and shortest route between Asia precisely China and Europe, otherwise it would’ve been exceptionally expensive, should the ‘Suez Canal’ route and the Arctic prove difficult for ships navigation! Ships would have to navigate through the Atlantic Ocean route.
In view of this, it all looks ready as Russia seems to be on the verge of eating Egypt’s launch if the pace at which the Arctic ice is melting isn’t discontinued. Yet, there are other benefits regarding the Arctic Transit route, viewed as the icing on the cake and that is no other than a drastic decrease in time that will save Chinese companies billions of dollars coupled with shipping cost which experts claim will render the ‘Suez Canal’ largely to font while in the process reroute all of its traffic through the ‘NSR’ instead which is conveniently located entirely within the Russia exclusive economic zone. This implies that Russia stands to profit immensely out of its ‘Transit Fees’ just the same way Egypt is profiting out of its ‘Suez Canal’ right now.
At the moment, there is just one problem regarding the ‘North Sea Route’, and that is the fact that the region is still almost entirely covered in ice, almost throughout the year, and as such, often require specially icebreaker ships to plough through which is very costly and not economical, as such, could rip off a number of shipping companies financial capacity.
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