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Exceeds plans for Northern Sea Route journeys

The Danish shipping company Nordic Bulk Carriers has completed more journeys along the Northern Sea Route in 2012 than anticipated. By using the shorter route between Europe and Asia the company saves 40 percent of fuel costs.

Nordic bulk Carriers has completed eight journeys along The Northern Sea Route (NSR) so far this season and plans to make yet another two before the season is finished, Managing Director Christian Bonfils has told Ship & Bunker.

The company said in June that it was planning six to eight journeys this year.

Nordic had predicted savings of up to $5.2 million by using the NSR instead of sailing through the Suez Canal, mainly due to the shorter journey time. Bonfils said the company has saved about 40 percent of fuel costs, as expected, though he said he couldn't put a precise dollar figure on the cost difference yet. The route also avoids paying the Suez Canal toll, as well insurance being less as it avoids high risk piracy areas, although those savings are offset at least in part by icebreaking fees.

Nordic began using the NSR in 2010, becoming the first operator to do so, and it has increased the number of journeys on the route since then.

As BarentsObserver reported, the cargo record on the NSR was broken earlier this month. By October 15 35 vessels had transported a total of 1 022 577 tons of different goods between Europe and Asia. The sailing season is expected to last until the end of November.

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