Murmansk Transport Hub was established in 1915 as one of the biggest gateways to Arctic North and Russian Europe. The main goal was to create Arctic Shipping industrial facilities to serve both tankers and dry cargo vessels.
As the world´s biggest port situated along Northern Sea Route, Murmansk is located on the shore of Koala Peninsula at coast of Barents Sea.
Through the Norwegian Sea and Hudson Bay, it connects Russia with the Canadian Arctic. The passage has not been tested yet for commercial use; however in 2010, by appointing parliamentary commission on national maritime policy to discuss a draft law of future use of Northern Sea Route, Russian Ministry of Transport has shown significant interest in development of the passage. Once it is created the Arctic Bridge between Asia and Europe will be established.
Murmansk features subarctic climate, where warm Gulf Stream's flow makes it non-freezing port operating 24/h all year round, and stretching North-South transportation corridor. Murmansk is the only port located behind the Arctic Circle, which depths on the roads and fairway are 20 - 60m. Also the speed of the tide can reach up to 2,5 knots, providing availability to work with vessels of any type up to 130 000 t. of the deadweight.
Administration of Murmansk Transport Hub includes the Murmansk Sea Commercial Port, Riversea Port and the Russian Railways and is handled by the Minister of Transport - Igor Levitin. Adjoining, on the water area, there are berths of Murmansk Sea Commercial and Fishery Ports, oil and passenger terminals, ship repairing yards and various civil organizations and marine units situated. Commercial area itself is divided into three main cargo terminals which operate cargoes up to 40 t and together with the passenger unit is serviced by more than fifty boats.
According to scientific data, coal was the most great cargo flow in 2011 and it is still increasing. Nowadays, the port of Murmansk handles more coal than other big ports in Russia all together. Federal Ministry of Transport informs that the good turnover will reach 15 million tones by the year of 2015 and 84 million tones by 2020.
Beside the fact that Murmansk port is the only trans-shipping port in the northern part of the country, it is gaining more and more importance on the international level, not only as a key connection through the North Atlantic Ocean, but also as possible gateway to Asia and Russian Europe.
The port should be also considered in economics analysis, especially these days at threshold of Russia reclaiming oil and gas, natural resources of its Federal outer continental shelf which could support the world reserves for many years to come and play key role in future economic development.
Source: Port of Murmansk Homepage Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009