Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

North Sea Route 2021 freight turnover: a growth exceeding all expectations

The volume of cargo shipped along the North Sea Route beat the Soviet records by a large margin

16 march 2022

The pandemic, combined with an increased demand for other transportation routes, failed to curb the growth of the North Sea Route cargo turnover. By the end of 2021, Rosatom set a new record, with the volume of cargo transportation along the Arctic transport mainline reaching 34.85 mn tons. This exceeded the 2020 results by 2 mn tons. Moreover, targeted volume of 32 million tons, indicated in the passport of the federal project "Development of the Northern Sea Route", has been exceeded.

The maximum volume of cargo shipments along the North Sea Route, achieved during the Soviet era, was 6.5 mn tons in 1987. It was first surpassed in 2016 — by 1 mn tons. In 2020, the cargo turnover along the Arctic mainline was already at the rate of 32.97 mn tons, and 2021 saw it increase by another 5.7 per cent. The largest contribution to the cargo traffic in 2021 was made by export transportation of the NOVATEK Yamal LNG products, as well as crude oil, which Gazprom Neft produces under the New Port project.

In 2021, a total of 7.7 mn tons of oil and oil products, along with 19.6 mn tons of CNG and gas condensate, were transported along the North Sea Route. And not only that — the company also transported 221.5 thousand tons of coal, 47.7 thousand tons of ore concentrate and over 4 mn tons of other cargoes.

The overall intensity of navigation along the Northern Sea Route has also increased. So, for 10 months of 2021, 1,155 permits were issued for navigation via Northern Sea Route - this is 18% more than in the same period in 2020. The demand for the Northern Sea Route among foreign carriers has also seriously increased. For 11 months of 2021, 75 ships under foreign flags passed along the Northern Sea Route. The “Arctic highway” was actively used by German, Norwegian, Swiss, Dutch and Chinese shipping companies.


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