Economic feasibility of shipping containers through the Arctic
Author(s)Pollock, Russell (Russell Clayton)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Henry S. Marcus.
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As the Arctic ice cover continues to retreat, the possibility of regular transit through the Arctic becomes an increasing reality. Liner companies could take advantage of distance savings (up to 4000 nautical miles less than existing routes) available from transit through the Arctic by offering faster port-to-port voyage times while simultaneously reducing voyage expenses. The purpose of the study is to investigate the economic feasibility of a liner service with shipping routes through the Arctic. To accomplish this, information pertaining to Arctic conditions, containerships and icebreakers, and container ports was collected and used to build a model that estimates the expense and time of port-to-port voyages through the Arctic. Different combinations of vessels, routes, and speeds through the Arctic were evaluated with the model. The expense and time of the Arctic voyages were then compared to the equivalent existing liner routes. The likelihood of year-round reliable containership service through the Arctic in the future depends on one's perspective. One the one hand, it won't happen for decades due to the presence of ice. Current predictions of a largely ice-free Arctic range from 2030 to later than 2100. On the other hand, if some favorable assumptions are made, it deserves serious consideration once minimally ice-strengthened containerships are able to be reliably escorted through the Arctic at a speed of 10kts.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2009.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 51).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering.