Maersk Plans to Sail Arctic Route Again
Maersk will probably be transporting cargo via the Northern Sea Route again this summer. The company is discussing this with Atomflot, a Russian company that uses nuclear icebreakers to clear the route.
The Danish shipping company has confirmed the talks with the Russians in an e-mail to international news agency Reuters.
Venta Maersk Trial
Last August, Maersk already sailed its brand new ship Venta Maersk via the Northern Sea Route from Vladivostok to Bremerhaven as a trial. The ship was carrying fish and South Korean electronic products on board.
At the time, the Danes stated that it was a one-off event, a first toe in the polar waters to feel whether the route might be an alternative to sailing via the Suez Canal in the distant future. A more structural, commercial use of the route was called a utopia for the time being, because the route still freezes up outside the summer season.
Maersk has now informed Reuters that there is a growing demand for goods transport between the Far East and Western Russia, and that the company, together with Atomflot, is looking at ways to respond to this demand.
Russia could use the route to import Chinese products and export fish. This time, the talks will cover several outward and return sailings, although Maersk emphasises that it will certainly not be a permanent commercial Maersk-North Pole service yet.
Source: Nieuwsblad Transport
Picture: The Venta Maersk on Northern Sea Route last August (by Maersk).