CMA CGM, the fourth-biggest container shipping line in the world, will not use the proposed Northern Sea Route (NSR) due to concerns over environmental sustainability, according to its CEO Rodolphe Saade.
The announcement was made at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, and in a recent video CMA CGM described the Arctic as “essential for regulating the ocean currents and the world’s climate” and that not using it was a big step in the fight against climate change.
The NSR is one of the biggest topics in the maritime industry and Port Technology has covered it in detail, including an exclusive insight in November 2018, which looked at the viability of the route for commercial shipping.
PTI Insight: Is the Arctic Route the Future of Shipping?
It is estimated that voyage times between Asia and Europe could be cut by as much as 40%. For example, a vessel traveling between South Korea and Germany would take 46 days if it passed the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, and 34 days via the Suez Canal, Egypt.
By using the NSR, a vessel could arrive in Hamburg in approximately 23 days. Despite the clear benefits for trade, there are severe concerns over the effect it will have on the environment.
Earlier in August 2019, the Clean Arctic Alliance (CAA), called upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Ministers of Scandinavian countries to follow through on previous commitments to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the region.