Northern Sea Route freight traffic decreased six-fold in 2015
Last year, freight traffic on the Northern Sea Route decreased six-fold compared to 2014, Rosatomflot Deputy Director-General Stanislav Golovinsky reports.
RIA Novosti quotes him as saying: "Until 2013, Arctic freight traffic showed considerable growth, but later on, it dropped and has now decreased by six times."
According to Golovinsky, in 2014, the gross tonnage of ships traveling along the Northern Sea Route amounted to 1.66 million metric tons; in 2015, it slightly exceeded 400,000 metric tons. Moreover, the number of ships sailing on this route fell from 129 to 44. Golovinsky explained the drop by changes in legislation and Western sanctions. Despite these setbacks, future freight traffic in the Arctic may reach 40 million metric tons.
"Many ship owners go to the Arctic because the climate is changing and it would be wrong not to take advantage of this," Golovinsky said.