The purpose of this paper is to assess the economic feasibility of the Northern Sea Route as an alternative to the Suez Canal Route subject to bunker fuel oil prices and ice breaking fees and to examine potential effects that could arise from the introduction of the NSR. A cost comparison of these two routes showed that even when no dedicated vessels are required for the NSR, the Suez Canal Route remains the preferable route of choice mainly due to the increased ice breaking fees. Through sensitivity analysis it was demonstrated how decrease in ice-breaking fees of more than 50% is required in order for the NSR to become economically feasible. Furthermore due to the decreased distance between North Europe and East Asia the NSR is the preferable route of choice when bunker fuel oil prices are increased by more than 150% in compare with present values .Finally in this paper the most important effects of the introduction of the NSR were examined and presented. The introduction of ultra slow steaming, the periodical use of the NSR for time sensitive products, the possible trigger of slow steaming regulation and the use of idle fleet of smaller vessels of up to 70.000 dwt , which are able to navigate through the Inner NSR, where found to be the most plausible and important effects of the introduction of the NSR.

Lugt, L. (Larissa) van der
Maritime Economics and Logistics
Erasmus School of Economics

Panagopoulos, A. (Alexandros). (2012, September 14). Northern Sea Route: a feasibility study for bulk shipping. Analysis of future potentials and impacts of the introduction of the NSR. Maritime Economics and Logistics. Retrieved from