Arctic Sea Routes of Limited Use to China

By Eric Haun
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Photo: The Arctic Institute

As China’s international trade remains seemingly ever-growing, the country continues to seek diversified options for expanding its global trade. The prospect of Arctic shipping passages have generated much discussion throughout the industry, especially as weather trends seem to implicate a potentially vast opening of passable routes, most specifically for China in the Northern Sea Route.

Executive Director of The Arctic Institute, Malte Humpert, conducted a study, “The Future of Arctic Shipping: A New Silk Road for China?” that explores global trade patterns, technology and infrastructure trends, and the implications Arctic shipping developments for China, and ultimately decides the region’s importance for China will be limited.

"The geographic distribution of China’s main trade partners and its substantial investments in port infrastructure along the existing trade routes do not support the idea of large-scale trans-Arctic shipping," Humpert said. "A closer look at the geographic distribution of China’s exports and imports reveals the impossibility of large-scale trans-Arctic shipping. Most of China's main trade partners are far removed from Arctic shipping routes. Trade with Northern Europe, the region most relevant to Arctic shipping, accounts for just 2.9%."

Humpert continued, "Over the next two decades Chinese trade within the Asia-Pacific region and with countries in the southern hemisphere will experience the sharpest growth. The importance of Europe as one of China’s major trading partners, on the other hand, will decline over the coming decades, reducing the likelihood of significant levels of trade between the two regions conducted via the Arctic."

“A new generation of ultra-large container ships and bulk carriers will offer vastly improved economies of scale and reduce costs to the point where Arctic shipping will not be economically viable even under ideal conditions," Humpert said.

According to Humpert, the Arctic is essentially incapable of competing with the already well established global sea routes. He said, "Future shipping in the Polar region will mostly consist of seasonal destinational transport, delivering supplies into the Arctic for its increasing economic activity and transporting the region’s natural resources to markets in East Asia."
 

  • Malte Humpert, Executive Director of The Arctic Institute

    Malte Humpert, Executive Director of The Arctic Institute

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Long Beach Port to Boost Power, Speed Clearance

Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup on Thursday unveiled ambitious plans for congestion-beating smart systems for cargo movement and an all-out

31 ARENA Projects Completed

ARENA has invested $1 billion in more than 230 projects, fellowships and scholarships that are paving the way for a more diverse energy future for Australia.

Reftrade Upgrades Fleet Refrigeration Systems

Reftrade UK  has made an investment  to upgrade its fleet with environmentally friendly technology. The world’s first refrigeration system to use CO2 as a natural refrigerant,

News

Imabari to Construct Newbuilding Dry Dock

In order to accommodate construction of Ultra-Large newbuilding vessels including recently secured 20,000TEU Mega container ships (about 400m in length and about 59m breadth),

Long Beach Port to Boost Power, Speed Clearance

Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup on Thursday unveiled ambitious plans for congestion-beating smart systems for cargo movement and an all-out

31 ARENA Projects Completed

ARENA has invested $1 billion in more than 230 projects, fellowships and scholarships that are paving the way for a more diverse energy future for Australia.

Arctic Operations

Shell: UK Should Reduce North Sea Oil Tax

The British government should review a supplementary tax charge on North Sea oil producers as it has made the operation of some fields unrealistic, Shell Chief

Shell Eyes Arctic Drilling this Summer

Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.

‘Landmark Year’ for RS in 2014

For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year,

Logistics

Long Beach Port to Boost Power, Speed Clearance

Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup on Thursday unveiled ambitious plans for congestion-beating smart systems for cargo movement and an all-out

Gazprom, OMV Ink Additional Deal

Vienna hosted today the signing of an Addendum to the existing contract for gas supply to Austria between Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Gerhard Roiss,

Stolt-Nielsen Q4 Profit Misses Forecast

Shipping firm Stolt-Nielsen reported fourth quarter earnings below forecasts on Thursday and said it was concerned about the outlook for the chemical tanker market,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1943 sec (5 req/sec)