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Melting Arctic ice has already opened new shipping routes, saving transporters time and money and reducing exposure to Middle East political risk.

The Northern Sea Route, according to Singaporean traders, is a shortcut between Asia and Europe that bypasses the Suez Canal.

South Korea and Japan tanker companies are using the Northern Sea Route traversing the Russian Arctic Ocean.

This is the first time volumes have been shipped along this route.

Shipments on the new route include hydrocarbons and iron ore.

Russia’s Gazprom tested the route last year with a shipment of liquified natural petroleum to Japan.

China’s Cosco has used the route between China and Europe.

Aside from cost and time issues, the Northern Sea Route bypasses the Suez Canal, recently clouded with security issues related to domestic political uncertainty.

Bypassing Suez would usually require circumnavigating south around Africa. That route increases durations and costs.

Source: Wall Street Journal