U.S. report not anticipating near-term Arctic increase in commercial shipping

Map showing the Bering Strait. What is the future of shipping in the region? (iStock)
Map showing the Bering Strait. What is the future of shipping in the region? (iStock)
Despite reports of a boom in Arctic ship traffic, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office concludes commercial industries aren’t planning to boost shipping through the Bering Strait or elsewhere in the U.S. Arctic over the next decade.

While some federal policymakers say now is the time to start building infrastructure to take advantage of shrinking sea ice, the GAO says deep-water ports, mapping and other infrastructure improvements will only go so far in attracting more ships.

For the container ship companies, one problem is that Arctic routes would be seasonal, while that industry needs steady year-round schedules. And the cruise industry says mainstream cruise lines aren’t drawn to the Arctic because, according to the GAO report, the 10-day journey is too long, the scenery unvarying and interesting ports too scarce.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a statement disagreeing with the main message in the report, saying she believes Arctic maritime activity is on the rise and the U.S. needs to think long-term.

-By Liz Ruskin, APRN
 

Related Links:

Canada:  Shipping challenges in Canada’s North-West, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News

Norway:  Norwegian company looks to Alaska for Arctic shipping port, Alaska Dispatch

Russia: Russia, icebreakers and Arctic identity, Blog by Mia Bennett

United States:  Alaska and Arctic Shipping: Boon or Boondoggle?, Blog by Mia Bennett

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published.