Northern Passage / Arctic Gateway

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(Above) Map showing potential northern routes for trade, as compared to the existing route through the Panama Canal. Suez Canal route not shown.

 

Within the next few decades, it has been suggested that the global trading system will have the ability to move north due to advancements in technology and receding ice, greatly reducing shipping time and expense. Currently, the two major trade routes are through the Panama Canal (Panama) and Suez Canal (Egypt), however more open and safe access to the Northwest Passage above Canada, and also the Northern Sea Route above Russia are becoming a reality. In 2012 a record of 30 ships completed transit through the Northwest  Passage, with the first bulk carrier making the trip in 2013. Using these northern routes, Prince Rupert is estimated to be 9-12 days sailing time closer to  Europe than existing trade routes, making Prince Rupert a logistically competitive location for shipping between Europe/Asia and the North American market.

 

The implications of potential northern routes may offer great opportunity for Prince Rupert, yet are not to be over-estimated, as their viability has yet to be fully determined by the scientific community.