Arctic Route is Silk Road in the 21st Century
The cold seas are finally open!
Asia-Europe Shortest Route
Global warming must surely be a global problem. However, environmental changes caused by global warming have brought new opportunities to the world. The glaciers that have been covering the Arctic Ocean for a long time have diminished little by little and the road to the North Pole has opened. The world is paying attention to the tremendous amount of resources buried in the Arctic.
Another highlight is the Arctic Route. Sea freights currently traveling from Northeast Asia and Asia to Europe are transported through Hong Kong and Singapore via the Suez Canal. However, Arctic route can be shortened by 40% in distance and 10 days in time. It is virtually the shortest distance trade between Asia and Europe.
Who will Pioneer the Sea First?
As the Arctic route opens, major nations of the world are busy moving to open new trade ports first. China has a mid- to long-term project to build a port connecting Central Asia and Europe. Russia, which is in contact with the Arctic Ocean, is actively engaged in catching the initiative through the construction of icebreakers and infrastructure construction.
In August 2018, the world’s largest regular shipper, the Maersk Line, launched the world’s first container ship to cross the Arctic route. It is an inspirational but an encouraging achievement.
New Opportunities in Korea
The Arctic Route is also a new opportunity in Korea. If the Arctic route is opened as a new logistics route, there will be various economic advantages as well as a shortening of logistics moving time. First of all, Busan Port can be a stopover hub for ships passing through Northeast Asia and the Arctic route. Also, Korea’s technology is the best in icebreaker construction. In the case of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, we received orders for 15 icebreaking LNG carriers from Novartec of Russia. In addition, Korea has specialized technology in plant construction for arctic resource development.
The North economic cooperation project (9-BRIDGE strategy) being pursued by the Korean government is now becoming more visible through summit talks with Russia.