NORTHERN SEA ROUTE - the shortcut between Asia and Europe

The NSR is a shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the Russian coast of Siberia and the Far East, crossing five Arctic Seas: the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea

With accelerating energy and mineral resources in the Northern Region, effective alternative transportation solutions between Europe and the Far East will be of increased importance. 

During the favourable ice season, the Arctic region has a transport advantage to the fast growing regions in the Far East.  Already during 2011, 34 vessels sailed to Asia compared to 4 in 2010 and cargo transport is expected to reach one million tons in 2012.



  • Distance from Northern Europe to China and vice versa, approx 40% shorter than via the Suez Canal or 60% shorter via the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Substantial reductions in transportation time, fuel consumption, environmental emission and eliminates piracy risk
  • Further cost savings by generating return cargoes from the Far East
  • Longer season – amount of ice reduced by 40% over the last 30 years
  • Open now for larger and a variety of vessels


Cargo from Kirkenes and Murmansk

* ) Actual speed may depend on ice conditions