Northern corridor speeding up

May 30, 2011 12:00

By monitoring the transport of goods from Netherlands to Murmansk by sea way, the project Northern Maritime Corridor aims at showing that transport by sea is the fastest and simplest way to the north, reports with reference to BarentsObserver.

The Norwegian vessel "Holmfoss" has over the last week done a quite normal voyage from the Port of Velsen outside Amsterdam in Netherlands to Murmansk. However, for the Northern Maritime Corridor-project (NMC) it has been a special voyage.

Eyvind Klewe from the Marlo Company has been monitoring the voyage from the start in Netherlands, via the British town of Grimsby and through several Norwegian ports, before it ended up in Murmansk. In total the ship had 19 port calls after leaving Velsen.

Doubled activity
 Harald Sørensen is project coordinator for the NMC-project and adviser of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. He says that Eimskip CTG, the owner of "Holmfoss", has been a very active partner in the project.

- "Holmfoss" is doing port calls in Murmansk every 10th day now, and have doubled their activity in Murmansk since they started three years ago. Along the way the company has gained a lot of experience which will be very useful for the project, says Sørensen.

With a high amount of port calls, reduction of harbor time is the essence for gaining time. The aim of the monitoring has been to find ways of becoming even more efficient on delivery and loading.

Fish has been the main cargo for "Holmfoss" on this voyage. Some 940 tons were loaded for discharge on the Norwegian coast and approximately 1350 were loaded for discharge in Murmansk.

Time consuming
 Klewe says that to an important factor in reducing the time span of each port call has to do with where the ship is located in the harbor. Proximity to the harbor infrastructure is very important.

However, the most time consuming factor is paper work. The ship had some 500 copies of cargo documents which were signed before loading in Murmansk and which had to be countersigned before discharging.

- The paperwork and clearing in Murmansk took several hours from the vessel arrived until she could start discharging. This can be improved. However, the discharge rate of 50 tons per hour for this call is not that bad, says Klewe.

According to Klewe the capacity in St. Petersburg throught the Baltic corridor is fully utilized and he therefore believe the northern route through Murmansk can be a potential backdoor to the east part of Russia as well as to Moscow and northern Russia. But appropriate hinterland services must then be made available for such activity to develop.

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