Barriers of voyaging on the Northern Sea Route: A perspective from shipping Companies

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Global climate change provides both risks and opportunities in the surrounding areas of the North Pole. Melting icebergs and glaciers increase the environmental risks to the ecosystem. Simultaneously the extraction of natural resources in the region and the use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) seem easier than before. Those countries and companies that would utilize these opportunities have begun competing to take initiative for the development of the region. For instance, a Korean shipping company operated a test navigation between Russia and Korea through the NSR in 2013, while others did not. What are the drivers and barriers of sailing the NSR? This study aims to address this question by identifying the economic, external, and internal drivers and barriers to voyage through the NSR, from the perspective of shipping companies. Comparative case studies, using interviews and document analysis, suggest that the differences between shipping companies that consider voyaging the NSR mainly lie in companies' perceptions of economic opportunities and their internal factors. Despite economic and external policy barriers, a company's financial capacity and leadership played a key role to explore the new route, seeking potential of shipping resources from the Arctic region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Yonsei-Seoul National University Research Cooperation Program Fund (2014-22-0097).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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