By 2050, as much as 10 percent of the containers transported between Asia and Europe may use the North East Passage north of Russia, the NGO Transport and Environment estimates. This may affect the arctic ecosystem severely, the NGO says in a report on the environmental consequences of shipping in the Arctic.
"Because of the potential to significantly shorten trips from Europe to the North Pacific, these newly opened Arctic sea routes could attract a significant amount of international shipping traffic. Recent models have estimated that by 2050, Arctic sea routes could attract around 10 percent of the total container trade between Asia and Europe. By 2050, this would represent 850 transit voyages annually carrying about 2.5 million TEU”, the NGO states.