Arctic Risks Versus Rewards

Marine insurance companies are currently assessing the potential risks and rewards of insuring ships for transit through the Arctic. In recent years, receding polar ice caps and the development of nuclear icebreakers has made the shipping industry consider the possibility of dramatically cutting transit times on certain routes by navigating through the Arctic, rather than the traditional Suez and Panama Canal options. The northern sea route would cut the distance between Southeast Asia and Rotterdam to 6,900 nautical miles from 11,350 nautical miles and could potentially reduce the transit time by 10-15 days.