Moving Containers Through the Arctic

This paper explores the possibility of regular container ship travel through the Arctic. As the Arctic ice continues to melt, this possibility becomes more feasible. Distance savings could be substantial - up to 4000 nautical miles fewer than current routes. Information regarding container ships, ice breakers, container ports, and Arctic conditions was collected. This information was utilized to construct a model that would estimate the time and expense of port-to-port trips through the Arctic. The main conclusions from the study are: (1) Routes that attain meaningful savings in distance through Arctic travel can potentially offer lower travel time and trip cost than corresponding current routes, such as Northern Asia to Northern Europe. (2) The conditions currently in existence in the Arctic only allow for these advantages during the summer. (3) An average speed of 10 knots has to be achieved, through the Arctic, during all months of the year, in order for regular transit through the Arctic to seem like an attractive alternative.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Department of Civil Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139

    American Bureau of Shipping

    ABS Plaza, 16855 Northchase Drive
    Houston, TX  United States  77060
  • Authors:
    • Pollock, Russell
  • Publication Date: 2009-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 73p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 5 2010 11:52AM