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Analyst casts doubt over Arctic routes

Huge insurance costs, slow speed, and a fear of environmental disasters are all factors that will keep many carriers away from Arctic routes in the near future, says a shipping analyst.

Photo: Marinvest

The new shipping routes through Arctic waters are not likely to become too congested right away. Vessels carrying coal, diesel, or gasoline have undertaken the voyage, but due to due to high insurance costs, slow speed and strict environmental rules few carriers are eager to follow, believes Richard Hurley, senior analyst for HIS Maritime.

Last month, a dry cargo vessel carried coal from Denmark-based Nordic Bulk Carriers from Vancouver, Canada through the North West Passage to Finland, which according to the operator saved them about USD 80,000 on fuel. And in October, trading company Vitol sent a product tanker with diesel from Asia via the Northern Sea Route across Russia to Europe.

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