Chinese Container Ship New Polar Bear Completes 1st Round Trip Voyage Across Arctic

Chinese shipping major NewNew Shipping Line has completed the first-ever round-trip voyage of the inaugural regular liner service linking China and western Russia via the Arctic.

The NewNew Polar Bear, capable of being loaded with nearly 1,638 standard containers (TEU), reached the final destination, St. Petersburg, following a six-week return journey in August 2033 in Shanghai.

Chinese Container Ship
Representation Image

During the weekend, the vessel had its intermediary stops in Arkhangelsk, along the Northern Sea Route (abbreviated the NSR), in September 2023, and Baltiysk, along the Baltic Sea.

The vessel departed from St. Petersburg for the eastbound leg in July 2023 and reached Shanghai on 4 August, per reports by the HNN. The service initiation in July was duly accompanied by a grand launch ceremony based in Moscow and attended by several Arctic and trade officials.

NewNew Shipping Line’s service reportedly represents the first-ever foray to initiate container shipping regularly in the Arctic. Currently, cargo traffic along the NSR is strongly dominated by reported transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil.

This trip is one that the firm and Russia’s officials eagerly hope will evolve as a regular and seasonal liner service across the Arctic. The Arc5 ice classification mechanism of the vessel will permit travelling along the channel from July to November.

The NewNew Shipping Line reached the Arctic with five of its container vessels this year summer with service along the route between St. Petersburg and China. The vessels are the Xin Xin Hai 1 (2,741 TEU), the Xin Xin Tian 1 (2,741 TEU), and the NewNew Star (3,534 TEU). One additional ship provides routing for the shorter leg to Arkhangelsk only.

The NewNew Polar Bear’s new roundtrip voyage is the first of its type to establish regular service instead of ad-hoc or experimental container vessel voyages like Maersk’s 2018 voyage with the Venta Maersk.

Per reports from industry media, the NewNew Shipping Line plans on rapidly expanding the Arctic fleet and adding up to 10 additional boxships on that route.

References: High North News, Arctic Today

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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