Arctic Freight Growing at a Rapid Pace

Photo: Gernet Nikolai/

Arctic Freight Growing at a Rapid Pace

The amount of cargo transported via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) keeps growing despite the pandemic and the global supply chain crisis. As stated by the Directorate of the Northern Sea Route operated by Russian nuclear monopoly Rosatom, in 2021, the overall freight hauled across the route went up by 5.7 percent as compared to 2020, reaching some 34.85 million metric tons. It is about 2 million tons more than in 2020, when the amount of freight hit a record of 32.97 million tons.

Rosatom management reportedly believed that this amount will grow by about three percent to hit a value of around 34 million tons of cargo transported by the end of the year. As we can see, reality proved to be even better than anticipated -- yet another indication of the NSR’s solid potential.

The rapid growth demonstrated by the Northern Sea Route in 2021 can also be regarded as a sign that the ambitious target of 80 million tons transported via the NSR by 2024 set by the federal authorities is an achievable one. The NSR cargo freight will keep increasing owing to the development projects to be implemented in the Russian Arctic along with a polar shipping lane connecting Northern Europe and Southeast Asia to be launched by Rosatom and its partner companies in the coming years.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.

Alexander Stotskiy
14 January 2022
Arctic Today