Royal Arctic Line
Freight carrier owned by the Greenland Home Rule Government
The Royal Arctic Line A/S was spun off in 1993 from the Greenland conglomerate KNI. It is wholly owned and heavily subsidized by the Greenland Home Rule Government to provide maritime cargo transport to and from Greenland and to keep the many isolated settlements along the Greenland coast supplied. The company has a monopoly on all sea transport of cargo to, from, and within Greenland. The company also manages thirteen harbors in Greenland and the Greenlandic base harbor in Aalborg, Denmark. Almost all cargo to or from Greenland transits through the Aalborg base or through Reykjavik, Iceland. The company owns and operates three ocean-going ships and charters an ocean-going reefer vessel. The three ocean-going ships carry both containers (up to 782 TEU for the two largest) and general cargo. These are primarily used for carriage of cargo to or from Nuuk, Greenland. One, the Mary Arctica, has been chartered several times for work in Antarctic waters. The company also owns and operates seven settlement vessels used exclusively in Greenland waters to support the numerous communities along the coast that have no other means of getting supplies and cargoes in or out. All are capable of servicing settlements with minimal or no maritime support facilities. Royal Arctic Line recently contracted for construction of five new ships as part of a fleet renewal project. Approximately 50% of the cargo exported from Greenland consists of fish and fish products, while construction materials makes up about 40% of the imported cargo, with much of the remainder being food and consumer goods. Settlement cargo includes fish caught in the local communities and beverages bottled in Nuuk (primarily water and beer). Government concessions account for about three-quarters of the company’s revenue.