Sea- and ocean-cargo transport company Maersk is ready to lead the way into the future, with an experimental new route that offers an alternative.
For all transporters going through the Suez Canal, Maersk is working to create a new navigable route through the Arctic Ocean, a harsh and inhospitable place for around 9 months out of the year.
The Venta Maersk vessel departed from the Russian port of Vladivostok on August 23rd, outbound for Sankt Petersburg, carrying mixed cargo. The vessel will also be collecting data regarding the new route, to find out whether it’s worth undertaking this journey in the future.
The cargo run should take close to 1 month, with the Venta Maersk stopping in South Korea and passing through the Bering Strait.
The new route is estimated to significantly reduce travel times of those ships that normally use the Suez Canal, having no other viable alternative.
However, there is no solid evidence to back up the Arctic transport corridor for now, considering it is mostly covered with ice for around 9 months out of the year, according to Maersk officials.
On the other hand, Russian authorities believe climate change will lead to higher temperatures in the Arctic and, thus, to a transport corridor with far more potential than initial Maersk estimates. By having efficient ice-breakers and taking climate change into consideration, the Russians are hoping for a transport corridor in the Arctic Ocean which can be accessed all year round.