Forecasted Northern Sea Route cargo volume in Russia 2019-2024, by source

According to prognoses by different ministries of Russia, the volume of cargo transported via the Northern Sea Route would steadily increase between 2019 and 2024. The country's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment forecasted the navigation route's freight volume to reach 95 million metric tons by 2024, or 89 million metric tons excluding the Ob LNG by Novatek. The Ministry of Transport suggested a lower growth rate, expecting the shipping quantity to sharply increase by 35 million metric tons between 2023 and 2024. The Federal Agency on Atomic Energy of Russia (Rosatom) planned to increase the volume of transported liquefied natural gas and gas condensate to 41 million metric tons by 2024.

The Northern Sea Route is considered one of Russia's benefits from climate change, as the ice melting in the Arctic is expected to open a way between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Using this route, transportations are estimated to take 20 days instead of 33 days required when shipping via the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. While the navigation path is only open from July to November depending on ice conditions so far, this range is forecasted to extend due to global warming and the route could be open year-round by 2050. At the same time, several companies like the leading LNG shipping and transportation company CMA CGM Group publicly refused to use the route in order to protect the Arctic region.

Forecasted cargo volume through the Northern Sea Route in Russia from 2019 to 2024*, by source

Ministry of TransportMinistry for Development of Russian Far EastMinistry of Environment**
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Release date

July 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Figures from 2020 to 2014 are estimates.
** In 2024, 89 million metric tons excluding the Ob LNG (liquefied natural gas) of Novatek.

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