The Northern Sea Route, also known as the NSR, or Northeast Passage, is a burgeoning waterway between Europe and Asia cutting through roughly 3,500nm of frigid waters, near Russia’s northern coast.
As sea-ice recedes and Arctic technology improves, traffic along the NSR will increase, giving this region greater economic and strategic importance. Commercial operators are already seizing this fleeting opportunity that is only available between June and November due to near impassable winter ice conditions.
When comparing shipping distances from Hamburg to Yokohama, for example, the NSR is 36% (4,229nm) shorter than transiting via the Suez Canal, and 49% (7,186nm) shorter than rounding the Cape of Good Hope.
The cost savings for using the NSR instead of the Suez Canal not only cuts sailing time, but depending on cargo and vessel particulars, may also reduce operating costs such as fuel expenses, crewing fees, anti-piracy expenses, insurance premiums and vessel value depreciation.
Such scenarios make the NSR an attractive alternative to the Suez Canal not only because it can cut transit time from Europe to Asia by roughly 40%, but thereby also reduces fuel consumption by the same figure. Nonetheless, some administrative hurdles still remain which pose challenges to unprepared ship-owners.
BHM Penlaw and Tactique are uniting to bring the shipping industry the best possible service in preparing and filing the NSR transit applications. Their experts will work together with the client’s team to prepare all documents for submission to the relevant Russian federal agencies.
In addition, BHM Penlaw can continue to offer support by liaising with the client’s hull and cargo insurance provider to ensure complete coverage for the transit.
Tactique experts’ are fluent in Russian, have experience operating in the region and successful track-records when working with local organisations, they can unlock opportunities for clients to contract out their logistics planning for Arctic crew change, re-supply, and repair at even the most remote locations in Russia’s High North.
Moreover, the combined team can offer designated-person-ashore services on-the-ground in Russia during the vessel’s transit to oversee the process and immediately respond to any obstacles which may arise.
Foreign operators who are confident about safety and firm in their desire to sail new waters will be successful. Combined capabilities offered by both firms now allow ship-owners to reap the time-reduction and cost-saving benefits.