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              A Shorter Waterway to the Europe Makes Shipping Time Halved.

              Source: thesun.co.uk

              An Arctic shipping shortcut could see goods from China reach Britain in half the current time.

               

              Vessels would slip between ice floes in the Northeast Passage above Russia in 24 days.

               

              Beijing says global warming means the route is navigable for longer periods — making it a modern version of the ancient Silk Road from East to West.

               

              On Friday, Beijing unveiled its plan saying it expects to have a “major role in expanding to network of shipping routes” and noted that “as a result of global warming, the Arctic shipping routes are likely to become important transport routes for international trade”.

               

              The current journey to the Dutch port of Rotterdam, via the Suez Canal, takes 48 days. The sea journey could take less than half that time.

               

               

              The plan to expand shipping routes including the Passage — first traversed in 1879 by a Swedish explorer, Baron Adolf Erik Nordenskiold — is part of a wider investment in China’s trade infrastructure.

               

              The first Chinese cargo ship sailed the Northeast passage in 2013 and a further six Chinese vessels sailed the route last summer.

               

              Last year, a Russian tanker travelled from Norway to South Korea without an icebreaker escort for the first time in a trip that took 19 days.

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