China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) plans to launch regular services through the Arctic Ocean to Europe, as global warming makes the route viable and Beijing steps up its northern ambitions, says a report in AFP.
Cosco’s Yong Sheng vessel completed its second round trip Arctic voyage between China and Europe in October. It sailed nearly 20,000 nautical miles during the 55-day voyage.
The company managers consider the possibilities of normalizing the Arctic shipping route of Yong Sheng, which will decreased the transportation costs and will increase the speed of the loop.
“The company is considering increasing the number of ships sailing via the new path,” said Cai Meijiang, general manager of the safety and technical supervision department at Cosco.
The 19,000-tonne vessel first started its journey from Dalian to Rotterdam on August 8, 2013, sailing through the Northeast Passage and shortening the traditional shipping time by nine days.
Many experts expect the Arctic passage to become the next "golden waterway" for trade between China and Europe.
The European Union is China's biggest trading partner and sailing via the Arctic rather than the Indian Ocean would cut shipping times by as much as nine days, according to previous reports.