Journal section "Sectoral economic studies"

Current Trends and Problems of Development of the Arctic Marine Freight Traffic

Selin V.S.

4 (40), 2015

Selin V.S. Current Trends and Problems of Development of the Arctic Marine Freight Traffic. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2015, no. 4 (40), pp. 60-73. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2015.4.40.4

DOI: 10.15838/esc/2015.4.40.4

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article analyzes the trends and evaluates the prospects of functioning of the Northern Sea Route. It shows that after the change of its management model its freight traffic has dropped 4-fold, and in the Eastern sector (outside the Vilkitsky Strait) – 40-fold. In the recent years there has been a certain revival of transportation, including transit, which reached its maximum of 1.27 million tons in 2012. However, over the next two years they declined again; the drop was particularly significant in 2014 and amounted to a total of 240 thousand tons. The main problem is that this rather complex system is influenced by many factors, often contradictory and poorly predictable. Thus, the growing need for energy resources determines the overall need for developing the Arctic shelf. However, the possibility of climate cooling and the deterioration of ice situation can influence the possibility of transporting these resources. Besides, the Ukrainian crisis followed by the “war of sanctions” will cause a significant decline, especially in the medium term, the attractiveness of the European oil and gas market, which will cause the shift of strategic interests of Russian companies to the Asia-Pacific region. This necessitates the modernization of the Arctic transport and logistics system and introduction of new technical solutions. For instance, even nuclearpowered icebreakers series LA-60Ya that are currently under construction will not be able to escort linear tankers and gas carriers with a deadweight of more than 100 thousand tons along the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route. It is necessary to create more powerful vessels of the classical type or to design new models. All these driving forces and constraints are not always predictable within the framework of standard economic and statistical approaches. In this regard, the study reflected in the article used expert approaches along with the methods of factor and economic analysis. The main result is a package of proposals for the support of the Arctic marine freight traffic


program, factors, economy, shelf, arctic, marine freight traffic, resources, icebreakers, climate

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