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Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 24 Aug 2018, 18:13:43

Newfie wrote:Merk seems to have done it.
Http://gcaptain.com/maersk-sends-first- ... tic-route/


As the old saying goes, tip of the iceberg. All it will take is a few trips that produce a bigger profit than the Suez route and voila' the single ship becomes a fleet overnight.

For history look at the two big frmer shipping choke points, Suez and Panama. For centuries in the case of Panama and millenia in the case of Suez humans shipping took a long route to get around a narrow land blockage. When Suez Canal opened it took less than a eecade for world trade routs between Europe and Asia to shift to the shorter route. When Pnama Canal opened in 1914 the same thing happened despite World War One greatly disrupting trade between Pacific and Atlantic.

Based n thos examples once the big corporations decide the ice is no longer a shipping barrier the same thing will happen with the Northern Route between North Atlantic and East Asia ports being shorter and more profitable. Once the board of directors decides the rewards are worth the risk everything will shift virtually overnight, and whatever company goes first will have an advantage as the others will be as mch as a year behind in implementing the change.
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Re: Northwest passage may be new way to ship Alaskan oil

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 24 Aug 2018, 19:22:38

Tanada wrote:From several published articles I accidently closed so I don't have the links handy a German company named Beluga Shipping is planning to use the NorthEast Passage along the Siberian coast in 2009 to transfer cargo between Bremen Germany and Yokohama Japan.

Doing so saves 4,700 nautical miles of travel at 18 knots that is 11 days cut off the transit time. I don't know how many ships make the run from German to Japan each year, but even if they only manage to make one leg of the round trip through the passage saving the time for each ship through saves fuel, labor cost, and on top of everything else adds 11 days of potential travel to other places at other times of the year by the same ship. 12,600 miles at 18 knots is 29 days of travel. For every three ships which take the northern rout successfully it is the same profit gain as if you had sent four ships via panama, without the cost of a fourth ship, fourth crew, and fourth fueling for the trip. Cutting the trip from 29 days to 18 is going to be a very significant change, even if it is only viable for 30 days a year. You can roughly plan when the passage will open and keep a close eye on it as the date approaches, any ships leaving from the day before it opens through the next three weeks can be rerouted north as soon as it opens and save massive amounts of time and fuel. Another thing is, if you are a global shipping company you can coordinate ships going both ways, not just one way.

So presuming the passage is open only 28 days, none of your ships can make a round trip through the passage, but ships going both ways can make one leg of their journey using the northern route. According to LINK
And this does not include marine fuel costs, which rose from an average $295 per tonne at the beginning of 2007 to more than $500 per tonne in November. Fuel today accounts for 50-60 per cent of total transpacific sailing costs.


Now imagine cutting transit time by 38% and fuel usage by the same amount. 295/500=59% so your fuel increase cost of 41% would be nearly cancelled out for this one leg of your yearly passages. Presuming you can keep your ship at sea 290 days of the year with the rest of the time used in port loading, unloading and undergoing maintenance that is 5 round trips between Asia and Europe via Panama. Now divert north for one leg of one of those trips in late summer/early autumn. If you have a fixed price contract you can pocket the difference in fuel costs for the shorter trip, but you better make sure you don't have an early delivery penalty hidden in there somewhere which cancels it out :) I wonder how this will effect the JIT shipping rules, after all if you have this one window of opportunity per year but you are stifled from using it because everything is predicated on the transit time of the longer route it won't do you a lot of good.

I picture it this way, you company ships identical cargo's every week from Europe to Asia, thus each week one of your ships arrives at the other end of its journey. August 1st you send a ship via Panama, August 8th another, August 15th another, August 22 another. When your August 29th ship leaves port however the Northern route is open and taken, and the September 5th ship, September 12th ship and September 17th ships also take the northern route. The September 24th ship resumes taking the Panama route as the passage will be closed before it can get through.
Now look at the destination ports arrivals, they get the first ship of these 8 on the 30th of August, the second ship arrives September 6th. The third ship arrives on September 13th. Up to this point everything is as the receiver expected it to be. Then the fifth ship to leave arrives at its destination on the 16th, about the same time the 3rd ship is clearing the port. The fourth ship then arrives on the 20th, followed by the sixth ship on the 23rd. The seventh and eighth ships arrive on the 30th of September and 7th of October. The ninth ship however took the Panama route and will not arrive until October 23rd, leaving a gap of two nearly weeks between ships. If these companies use a strict JIT system this would create chaos, first extra ships are arriving to be unloaded and the cargo stored somewhere until needed, then a gap of 13 days instead of 7 between ships eight and nine. Notice however that if you add up all the dates, four ships arrived earlier than expected and only one later.

If you didn't want to mess up the delivery schedule too much and your primary concern was fuel expense you could have the four ships on the northern route slow down as soon as they were through the critical passage, a slower ship burns much less fuel. You could even time it so that they arrive on the same dates they would have arrived via the panama route if you so desire to keep the JIT system from having fits. For the first two ships taking the northern route they could actually travel at reduced speed for the whole trip, presuming the route that it will be clear for at least two weeks. The sailors will get paid for the same duration trip, but the fuel costs would go down significantly because the ships would traverse the distance at 11.5 knots instead of 18 knots. That cuts fuel use about in half due to the laws of hydrodynamics. For ships three and four on the northern route I would say cruising speed until through the critical passage, then slow even further to something like 8 knots to stay on schedule and save as much fuel as possible while doing so.

Thoughts anybody?


Some good numbers in here, but how about the cast guard factor? The Russians require ships sing the oassage be escorted by one of their icebreakers in case something goes wrong. I have seen reports that the US and Canada are completely unprepared for arctic shipping support. No bases or even much in the way of ports to support air/sea rescue operations in case of disasters and accidents.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Aug 2018, 04:39:32

A while ago I looked it up, Russia has a huge fleet of ice breakers and are building more. I think they have something like 2 or 3 times the fleet of everyone else combined. And those other ships are often retired Russian breakers.

The USA has only the Alaskan coast, the vast majority of the NW passage is Canadian, and they are 1/10th the size of the USA, so that’s a huge expense for them.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 25 Aug 2018, 10:48:18

Newfie wrote:A while ago I looked it up, Russia has a huge fleet of ice breakers and are building more. I think they have something like 2 or 3 times the fleet of everyone else combined. And those other ships are often retired Russian breakers.

The USA has only the Alaskan coast, the vast majority of the NW passage is Canadian, and they are 1/10th the size of the USA, so that’s a huge expense for them.


110% the size, 10% the population. But sure it is going to cost money to install coast guard stations and deploy personnel. Not to be funny but during the 1950's and 1960's the USA/Canada jointly deployed dozens of arctic DEW stations that were well maintained for many years. Also while the north Alaska coastline isn't as vast as the Siberian coastline its isn't a small thing either, it stretches over a thousand miles! That same distance in the Gulf of Mexico would go from the Mexican/Texas border across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and much of the Florida Panhandle. Yet in all that vast distance the USA doesn't have a single permanent coast guard base where SAR teams can stage out of in a disaster.

I am not saying having forces stationed on the Arctic coast would be all fun and games, but it is eminently doable by both Ottawa and Washington, and properly done wouldn't be any more expensive that McMurdo Base in the Antarctic which is a purely scientific establishment.

What it boils down to is Russia is aware of the value of the Arctic and spends money on that region while for various reasons the USA/Canada seem to be doing their best to pretend it is all a vast pristine wilderness that will never be worth anything. This is despite the fact that drilling and mining of minerals has been going on in the Arctic of North America for a century and has made both governments a boatload of money in severance taxes and other fees and taxes like the leases for those same mineral rights.

What we are seeing now IMO is the East Asian, Russian and Western Europe nations/companies happily developing the techniques and procedures to fully exploit the route. Starting in 2007 there have been tentative steps with a few non-russian vessels, mostly bulk freighters and tankers. Now however we see a container vessels making a foray into the Arctic and once Maersk and Costco corporations are comfortable with the idea of using the Northern Sea Route things are going to happen.

The funny thing is the older generation is always dying off/retiring from large companies, which means younger people with newer ideas work their way up the power structure of the company over time. Like all bureaucracies the vast bulk of the staff just want to shuffle their documents and keep from being noticed, but the people who actually rise to the Board of Directors and upper management are those who want to stick out from the crowd and be noticed. Some of those younger movers and shakers are undoubtedly advocates of taking the leap into the Arctic because they see it as the way of making their mark, getting noticed/promoted. As the executives shift over time their voices are becoming more prominent and sooner or later they will be accepted as ideas worth trying.

To be perfectly honest I figured the accounting departments of these mega-corporations would start pushing the efficiency/cost angle a decade ago when it was clear the Arctic was becoming more accessible for shipping. Based on this trip by the Maersk container vessel it looks as if some executive in the structure of the company decided the risk was now worth the reward to try things out. The real question is,when does the world shipping industry hit the tipping point? there were signs of interest in 2008 but then the world economy did a belly flop and almost everyone hunkered down. Now the world economy seems to be doing okay and looking for new opportunities is once again on the agenda.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby dissident » Sat 25 Aug 2018, 12:59:13

The NATO MSM likes to make fun of Russia for being "obsessed" by the Arctic and "ridiculous" for "militarizing" it. The fake stream media of course is just spewing worthless fake rubbish. The Arctic coast of Russia is vast and a serious weak point. They US could sail in its ship-based ABM components quite close to the shore and actually have some effectiveness at intercepting any WWIII ICBM launch. Land based ABM components located in Europe, Alaska or elsewhere are vastly less effective since they cannot close the range. Anything that gives Washington the notion that it could neutralize Russia's nuclear deterrent pushes nuclear war closer to reality.

Tanada mentioned a 30 day window. It is actually closer to 90 days since the ice thickness is basically a joke now that it disappears by late September. Back in the 1950s, the amount of melt in the Arctic was marginal and ice thickness did not drop dramatically during late summer and early fall. So even small icebreakers could do the escort job. This brings up the question as to why large nuclear powered icebreakers are being built. I think the intention is to use the Arctic sea way for at least 180 days. Although the volume of shipping outside the thin ice window will be much smaller.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Aug 2018, 13:15:12

Tanada,

In case you don’t know the USCG and CCG are completely different animals.

USCG is a branch of the Military has its own air wing and has multiple roles for its cutters.

CCG is civil service, Canadian Air Force does their aviation, their cutters are basically bouy tenders and light ice breakers. They use summer college students to man SAR up here.

Edit to add:
The CCG heavily relies on their “auxiliary”, commercial fishing boats who sign up for the program, to provide assistance to disabled mariners. I got a first hand lesson in that last evening when I stupidly ran aground, diable my rudder, and went adrift in a compact commercial harbor. Everything worked out for the best and all is well. I even got a few pounds of “off the boat fresh” artic shrimp in the deal. Not bad for being stupid, just gotta do it in the right place.

American US G Auxillary is basically a lot of fat old guys in uniform cruising around in on a weekend doing “free safety inspections.” The one time I saw them try to assist someone they impelled themselves on our bowsprit, funny if not so scary.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Aug 2018, 14:20:17

Another comparison:

Newfoundland (forgetting Labrador for the moment) is the same land area as PA. PA has 12.5 million people, NL 500,000. 25/1 population density. Labrador is MUCH bigger with far, far fewer people. Further nearly half live on the small Avalon Pennisula, Greater St Johns area.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 04:58:39

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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 07:46:36

Newfie wrote:Another comparison:

Newfoundland (forgetting Labrador for the moment) is the same land area as PA. PA has 12.5 million people, NL 500,000. 25/1 population density. Labrador is MUCH bigger with far, far fewer people. Further nearly half live on the small Avalon Pennisula, Greater St Johns area.


I think a better comparison would be Iceland, the two islands are almst the same size but Iceland has 350,000 citizens and a lot more glaciers.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 08:49:08

Yes, they are more similar geographically. NL is somewhere between PA and Iceland in terms of climate. But not a lot of folks have been to either Iceland or Newfoundland (or Greenland) and I don’t know if “normal” folks have any conception of how few folks are in these places. That’s more what I was trying to convey.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 18:40:07

Newfie wrote:Yes, they are more similar geographically. NL is somewhere between PA and Iceland in terms of climate. But not a lot of folks have been to either Iceland or Newfoundland (or Greenland) and I don’t know if “normal” folks have any conception of how few folks are in these places. That’s more what I was trying to convey.


What is key IMO is how many folks will be able to live on these islands and be food self sufficient after the climate steps up to the next level. At the rate we are progressing Newfie or his kids will be in prime seats to learn the answer in the next couple decades.

IMO and yes it is an opinion, not a provable fact, but in my experience the people who avoid northern locations are those who do not tolerate cold well. Scotland is substantially far north, but the maritime effect gives it a climate warmer than New York City, and millions of people live and farm in New York. If the climate follows the science based path I think is more likely than the Guy McPherson death to all hysteria then Newfoundland will have a climate like Pennsylvania or New York and support a much higher population. In 1900 before fossil fuels had a big impact on farming and food shipment Pennsylvavia had a population of just over six million.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 27 Aug 2018, 15:00:13

And there are more farms developing here. The very different land ownership history makes land expensive here. Not so many small farms, a few potato patches.

A lot of the land is not really suitable for agriculture, much is just bare rock or “mish” (bog). And as of now it imports over 90% of its food. It would do well to get that to 50% and hope the cod continue to return.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 28 Aug 2018, 14:39:16

Newfie wrote:And there are more farms developing here. The very different land ownership history makes land expensive here. Not so many small farms, a few potato patches.

A lot of the land is not really suitable for agriculture, much is just bare rock or “mish” (bog). And as of now it imports over 90% of its food. It would do well to get that to 50% and hope the cod continue to return.



IIRC before merging into Canada and getting flooded with cheap corparate food from the Prarie provinces Newfoundland was nearly self sufficient in farm products. After merging the farming industry of the sland was thouroughly trashed and has not yet recovered.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 28 Aug 2018, 18:02:36

Sounds about right. Newfoundland has been traditionally very, very poor. The merchant class essentially held the population in servitude. The merchants controlled the price of cod, and were the sole purveyor of essential goods. There was no money, just trading in cod. When the catch didn’t pay the bills then they were in debt to the merchant and went deeper in debt to get supplies to catch more fish next year. Because the merchants controlled the price of cod it was easy to keep everyone in debt.

They did all they could to survive. So, yes, everybody had a garden. My Sister, who grew up here (I didn’t) talks about how all the gardens are gone and grown over.

Before 1949, it was no picnic here, no Eden. Newfoundland is the only “colony” that willing gave up independent status and returned to the governence of the UK. Except it never really was a colony, and that effect the island till this day.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 28 Aug 2018, 18:54:03

Article on ships transiting Arctic without ice breaker support. It is happening.

https://gcaptain.com/costs-melt-as-lng- ... ic-circle/
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 29 Aug 2018, 21:06:24

Newfie wrote:Article on ships transiting Arctic without ice breaker support. It is happening.

https://gcaptain.com/costs-melt-as-lng- ... ic-circle/


Yes, however the scale is still small on the scale of world trade.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 30 Aug 2018, 05:46:42

True. Just pointing out ice breaker support does not appear to be a requirement.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 31 Aug 2018, 16:33:24

I looked up the rating system, so far the strongest ships built have been Ice Class 3. I wonder how much it costs to build an Ice Class 1 ship that can navigate the Arctic 365/year without supporting vessels? A ship like that could haul goods or people the short way any season, but I imagine a 5 inch thick hull costs a lot more.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 02 Sep 2018, 10:42:09

A yacht attempting the NW passage was recently lost.

Appears the Bellot Strait is pretty clogged and impassable this year.

http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot. ... o.html?m=1

More discussion here.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f33 ... 06751.html

And

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f33 ... ost2709773

The lost boat, an Ovni, is of aluminum construction with a lifting keel, which would normally allow the boat to pop up on the ice, out of a pressure ridge. Obviously something didn’t work out this time.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 06 Sep 2018, 07:37:56

Newfie wrote:A yacht attempting the NW passage was recently lost.

Appears the Bellot Strait is pretty clogged and impassable this year.

http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot. ... o.html?m=1

More discussion here.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f33 ... 06751.html

And

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f33 ... ost2709773

The lost boat, an Ovni, is of aluminum construction with a lifting keel, which would normally allow the boat to pop up on the ice, out of a pressure ridge. Obviously something didn’t work out this time.

Any update on this dissapearance?
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