Maersk testing Arctic waters

Ship will make a trial voyage along the north coast of Russia.

Maersk testing Arctic waters

Ship will make a trial voyage along the north coast of Russia.

Maersk testing Arctic waters

Ship will make a trial voyage along the north coast of Russia.

 
A Maersk containership will move cargo along the north coast of Russia in coming weeks.
    The 3,596-TEU Venta Maersk will depart from Vladisvostok, Russia, this week and travel through the Arctic Ocean to St. Petersburg, according to the website of High North News, a newspaper published by the High North Center at Nord University in Norway.
    It is the ship’s maiden voyage. The Venta Maersk is one of seven new ice class ships that will be deployed in Baltic feeder services operated by Maersk’s Seago Line, which specializes in short sea shipping.
    Janina Von Spalding, a Maersk representative, said, “Under plans being considered at the moment, the route will include stops in Vladivostok Fish Port, Vostochny Stevedoring Company, Busan, Bremerhaven, Saint-Petersburg Petrolesport.” The ship is currently at the fish port.
    Maersk said "The specific trial transit route will be as per agreement with Russian authorities after careful evaluation of ice conditions, and ice breaker assistance will be provided as required. The trial passage will enable us to explore the operational feasibility of container shipping through the Northern Sea Route and to collect data. Currently, we do not see the Northern Sea Route as a commercial alternative to our existing network which is defined by our customers’ demand, trading patterns and population centers."
   While the schedule is somewhat flexible, Von Spalding said the Venta Maersk is expected to pass through the Bering Strait around Sept. 1 and arrive in St. Petersburg by the end of September.
    The ship, which is equipped with 600 reefer plugs, will carry fish and a variety of other goods from electronics to minerals.
    Von Spalding said, “We maintain a comprehensive compliance program to ensure compliance with trade controls, such as economic sanctions.”
    She emphasized the maiden voyage of Venta Maersk is a trial, not a regular routing.
    “The trial will offer us a unique opportunity to gain operational experience in a new area and to test vessel systems, crew capabilities and the functionality of the shore-based support setup.
    “One of the topics to consider is exactly how to conduct voyages like this with minimum environmental impact. The safety of our seamen and ships and the protection of nature is of utmost importance to us. The arctic conditions require special training of the crew, ship structure, machinery installations and emergency preparedness by the authorities. We are taking all measures to ensure that this trial is done with the highest considerations for the sensitive environment in the region.”
    She said the Venta Maersk and sister ships “are the first in the Maersk Line fleet which have been purpose-built for low-sulfur fuel. This is needed to comply with the Emission Control Area or ECA requirements for the Baltic and Northern sea regions.
    “Although not a regulatory requirement, Maersk has decided to use ultra-low-sulfur fuel for this trial. We will of course ensure that Venta Maersk will comply with all regulations at the time the trial is conducted,” she said.
    High North News says COSCO has increased activity on the same route over the past three years, sending a dozen vessels through the Arctic in 2017, “including five transit voyages. With the beginning of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from Novatek’s Yamal LNG facility other major shipping operators, including Teekay and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), have begun to gain experience in what it takes to ship through the ice-covered waters of the route.

The opportunity we have right now to improve the NAFTA is too important not to get it right. We have a chance to set the American economy and American workers on a better course.

The United States' major retail container ports handled 1.75 million TEUs in April, which was a 6.9% year-over-year increase, according to the Global Port Tracker. 

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Maersk testing Arctic waters

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Maersk testing Arctic waters

Ship will make a trial voyage along the north coast of Russia.

Aug 21, 2018 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com