I spoke too soon when I said it wouldn’t be a year for cargo in the Northwest Passage. A load of nickel, on the Nunavik, emerged from the Prince of Wales Strait on Saturday on its way to China. Ice was nearby for most of the passage, but the relatively calm weather of the Arctic this year was an advantage. Winds had pushed the ice off to one side or the other, so that it was easy to steer around. There were only a few moments when the ship had to push through ice of any substance.
One ship does not make a trend, but even this one cargo load is big enough to matter when you look at the financial rewards of delivering sooner.
Depending on the weather, the Northwest Passage could remain relatively open through the month of October.