Source: adapted from Notteboom, T. and J-P Rodrigue (2011) "Emerging Global Networks in the Container Terminal Operating Industry", in T. Notteboom (ed) Current Issues in Shipping, Ports and Logistics, Brussels: Academic & Scientific Publishers. pp. 243-270. ISBN 978-9-054878582.
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- First there is the Northern Sea Route, a set of all-water shipping lanes between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the Russian coast of Siberia and the Far East. Future polar ice cap reductions would open new possibilities for commercial shipping on this route. In cost terms the route today is still less favorable due to the need for ice-classed ships and ice breaker assistance, non-regularity of the liner services, slower sailing speeds, navigation difficulties and Russian transit fees.
- Secondly, North South land corridors could develop as landbridges from the Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia. However, geopolitical and infrastructure considerations forbid any serious consideration of this alternative on the medium term.
- Third, the east-west rail corridors, a set of railway lines connecting East Asia and the western part of Russia with the Eastern part of Russia, are becoming more commercially interesting. One of the main arteries is the Trans-Siberian Railway which connects St. Petersburg with the port of Vladivostok. Other primary rail connections are the Trans-Manchurian Railway, the Trans-Mongolian Railway and the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM - opened in 1991). The 'Trans-Siberian in Seven Days' program sets a target speed of 1,500 km a day by 2015, but is facing the problem of different rail gauges between the Chinese, Russian and Western European systems. Rail land bridges in principle offer lead time advantages to shippers, but capacities remain low compared to container liner services. They offer a niche potential for time-sensitive cargo.