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

According to forecasts 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 projected 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 ot Transport suggested a lower growth rate, expecting the shipping quantity to 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 LNG and gas condensate via the route to 41 million metric tons by 2024.

What are the advantages of the Northern Sea Route?

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 forecast to extend due to global warming, and the route could be open year-round by 2050. At the same time, several companies like the LNG shipping and transportation leader CMA CGM Group publicly refused to use the route in order to protect the Arctic region.

High-speed internet in the Arctic

As part of Russia’s Arctic zone development program, the country began constructing the internet infrastructure that would be used by the port system of the Northern Sea Route, for production and transportation of hydrocarbons, and geological research in the region. Furthermore, the internet would be provided to residents on the Arctic coast and the Far East. The underwater fiber cables would stretch across trans-Arctic from the Pacific port of Vladivostok to the northern port of Murmansk across nearly 10 thousand kilometers. The project, set to be finished by the end of 2026, was projected to cost the state approximately 65 billion Russian rubles.

Cargo volume through the Northern Sea Route in Russia from 2019 to 2024, by source

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Release date

July 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Estimate.
** In 2024, 89 million metric tons excluding the Ob LNG (liquefied natural gas) of Novatek.

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