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Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2035, enabling faster shipping


Are you tired of delays in shipping? It is possible to ship your supplies faster around the world using a new method in the very near future.

Russia and China, both of which are melting the Arctic sea ice, have been expanding their transport infrastructure over the Eurasian continent. The last year was Suez CanalThe incident in which a ship became stuck, causing global traffic disruptions for several days, was used as an argument to encourage businesses to use Arctic shipping routes.

Marc Lanteigne (associate professor of political science, Arctic University of Norway) stated that Russian officials have been quick to point out that Arctic sea routes can be more effective in avoiding bottlenecks similar to those seen in Panama or Suez Canal.

China says the Northern Sea Route could be used to shave off almost all its citizens 20 daysYou can save time shipping through the Suez Canal.

Arctic transit, however, is not an easy feat. It is also highly unpredictable. This past summer, Captain Kenneth Boda led the U.S. Coast Guard cutter HEALY across the Arctic to Alaska and Canada.

From his cabin on board the ship, he said to CNBC that “it can be extremely harshly cold in Arctic” and added that “it can then be very beautiful sunny days.” The U.S. must traverse the frozen waters with the help of the icebreakers HEALY and ICEBROOKS.

But scientists predict that Arctic sea lanes could be free of ice by 2035.

This could prove to be good news for shippers but it poses a serious threat to Native Arctic communities. CNBC’s Dalee Sambo Dorough is the chair international of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. She stated that the idea that the Arctic can be crossed in smooth, relatively safe manner because there is no ice is frightening.

Maersk and MSC, two of the biggest shippers worldwide, said to CNBC that they have decided against shipping in the Arctic. MSC, among others, cited environmental degradation as well as unpredictability concerns.

However, others argue that global environmental conditions can improve with lower carbon emissions due to shorter transits.

Gabriella Gricius, North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network spoke to CNBC. She said that it was a matter of shipping costs-savings time and avoiding the lack of predictability.

See the video for more information about Arctic shipping opportunities.