The Centre for High North Logistics (CHNL)recently released its report of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) shipping activities. The main information source for the report is vessels’ AIS data. Information on the amount and type of transit cargo in 2022 was obtained for each voyage individually from various sources. Total amount of cargo transported along the NSR in 2022 is taken from official reports of Rosatom.
The total traffic volume on the Northern Sea Route in 2022 was 34,034 mln t. that is slightly less than the volume in 2021 – 34,850 mln t. Total number of voyages in 2022 was 2994, made by 314 vessels.
2022 saw 2,994 voyages across the NSR compared to 3,227 Voyages in 2021, (on the NSR: a voyage that originates from within the NSR, arrives in the NSR area).
Total amount of transit voyages in 2022 was 43 compared to 85 in 2021 and 64 in 2020. (Transit voyage on the NSR: when a vessel passes through both the western and eastern boundaries of the NSR without calling at ports en route)
The 314 ships worked on the NSR under 11 different flags. 278 ships were under Russian flag and 36 ships under foreign flag. Total number of voyages in 2022 was 2994.
According to the CNHL estimates, the total amount of transit cargo amounted to 41,5 thousand tons (1 281 thousand tons were in 2020 and 2,027 thousand tons in 2021).
The main contribution to the NSR cargo turnover in 2022 was made by LNG transportation. 280 voyages with LNG were made from the Sabetta port. In 2021 – 263 voyages. There were 32 more voyages to Europe in 2022 than in 2021 and most of them were to the ports of France, Belgium, and Spain.
But the number of voyages with LNG to Asian countries in 2022 decreased by 14 voyages. At the same time, exports to China did not change, but there were no deliveries to Japan and South Korea at all.
In 2022, there was not a single fully international transit via the NSR, means a transit voyage from one non-Russian port to another non-Russian port. The most of transits – 35 – were carried out between Russian ports. The other 8 transit voyages were between Russian and foreign ports. Among them 3 were from China to Murmansk, 3 – from South Korea to the port of Ust-Luga, 1 – from Kirkenes to Vladivostok and 1 – from Murmansk to China.
Summing up, it can be stated that there was a sharp decline in the volume of cargo transported in transit via the NSR in 2022. The predominance of transit traffic inside Russia and almost complete absence of international cargos.
(Source: CHNL – Image: Christophe de Margerie sailing on the Northern Sea Route/ABB)