Dubai’s DP World, one of the largest port operators globally, has joined forces with Moscow-based nuclear energy and technology company Rosatom to develop the Northern Transit Corridor as a “viable and sustainable” route between Asia and Europe.
As per the agreement, the entities will establish a joint venture that will invest, build and operate transport and logistics capacity along the route that connects South-East Asia with north-western Europe.
It cuts up to 19 days from the journey time between the two continents. About “one third of the world's trade flows between the two continents” and saving shipping time will “significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions”, the entities said in a joint statement on Thursday.
DP World supports Russia's efforts to diversify trade flows between Asia and Europe, said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World.
“The Northern Transit Corridor holds out the prospect of shorter transit times between East and West.
“DP World has already committed to invest $2 billion with the Russian Direct Investment fund and we will continue to work with our partners in Russia to find solutions that allow the Northern Transit Corridor to develop sustainably,” he added.
A record 33 million tonnes of cargo was carried along the Northern Transit Corridor last year, with Russian President Vladimir Putin aiming for 80 million tonnes by 2024.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted significant challenges in the supply chain, with many cargo owners struggling to find containers to move their goods. Diversification and disruption of traditional routes and methods are required to sustain growth and build back confidence, industry experts said.
“Capacity shortages and disruptions during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the global economy. The Northern Transit Corridor, along with land routes we are investing in across Asia, will open more options to move cargo, with Dubai as the hub for global trade,” said Mr Bin Sulayem.
The Northern Transit Corridor aims to enable the development of ports and transport links along Russia's north coast to sustain economic activity.
“Building of sustainable transport infrastructure in the Arctic opens up new opportunities in developing Eurasian transit … which can be achieved in an optimal time frame and help reduce the environmental footprint through shorter route distances and the advanced, low-carbon energy solutions applied,” said Alexey Likhachev, general director of Rosatom.
Rosatom, also known as State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, is a multi-industry holding comprising assets in power engineering, machine engineering and construction.
DP World has been expanding its global footprint to boost growth.
It recorded a 10.2 per cent increase in first-quarter container shipping volumes and anticipated delivering an improved performance in 2021, as the global economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.