Giant Freighter Is First to Cross Northwest Passage
Danish bulk carrier makes milestone journey
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2013 4:02 PM CDT
File photo of a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker (in background) on its annual voyage through Canada's Arctic and the Northwest Passage.   (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jonathan Hayward)

(Newser) – Sure, scientists are nearly positive that humans are heating up the planet, but there's an upside: more efficient shipping. For the first time, a major freighter has crossed the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail. The 735-foot Nordic Orion achieved the feat this week when it entered Baffin Bay. Doing so shaved 1,000 nautical miles off the usual route through the Panama Canal and saved the freighter's Danish operators about $80,000 worth of fuel, reports Reuters.

The fact that the ship burned less fuel than normal might be a small silver lining for environmentalists—until they see its cargo: coal, and lots of it, bound from British Columbia to Finland. And because the freighter didn't have to pass through the shallow Panama Canal, it was able to carry 25% more of the stuff, reports the National Post. The feat is expected to speed up international talks on shipping regulations for the passage, which until now had been mostly theoretical, notes the Globe and Mail.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Giant Freighter Is First to Cross Northwest Passage is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 86 comments
Mar 27, 2014 11:19 PM CDT
Denmark has NO respect for nature and the ecology! Example:
Sep 30, 2013 8:14 AM CDT
I don't know, this may just be my ignorance talking but sometimes I feel like the shouting over whether or not climate change is real is almost a red herring and a moot point. The fact is that pollution is devastating to the environment; like it or not we are a part of it. For example more kids in cities get asthma. Perhaps it's more about not shitting where you eat. On top of that eventually we will simply run out of fossil fuel. It's not infinite obviously so we will have to find renewable energy eventually. We might as well start supporting it now. It just seems like we are dancing around the issues. Oh climate change is a hoax so let's not worry about crap like that is a disturbing attitude to me.
Sep 28, 2013 11:07 AM CDT
the "upside" is not worth the downside. if we have to melt all of the artic ice to save some outfit money on the cost of hauling coal. forget that. Only some profit whores would see this as an upside