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Examining quick delivery at an affordable cost by the NSR/SCR-combined shipping in the age of Mega-ships

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The Mega-ships, the maximum containerships represented by 20,000TEU-class (LOA:400m, Breadth: 60m, Draft: 16m) which are able to transit both the Malacca Strait and the Suez Canal, have emerged in 2013, aiming at lower shipping cost by economy of scale. At the same time, they inevitably increased port calls in a rotation to collect more cargo demand, resulting in the longer transit time than ever before. Taking this trend into account, the authors proposed the quick delivery scenario between East Asia and Northwest Europe by the NSR (Northern Sea Route)/SCR (Suez Canal Route)-combined shipping, of which 4,000 TEU ice-class containership transits the NSR during the summer season and the SCR in the wintertime, based on a year-round scheduled operation. The quick delivery scenario gives the shorter transit time at an affordable shipping cost depending on the NSR navigable season length. However, the quick delivery scenario cannot avoid uncertainties in navigation especially via the NSR in the summer season, due to rough weather, sea ice, low visibility and icing in the icy water section of the NSR. The authors preliminarily concluded that a year-round scheduled operation of the NSR/SCR-combined shipping will be secured, if the practical navigation schedule is appropriately prepared.
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Keywords: Mega-ships; Northern sea route; containers; liner shipping; quick delivery

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan 2: Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Publication date: November 17, 2018

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