A binary probit model to analyze freight transportation decision-maker perspectives for container shipping on the Northern Sea Route


The predicted decrease of ice presence in the Arctic Ocean may allow commercial container shipping to use the Northern Sea Route (NSR) throughout the year starting by 2050. This paper conducts a stated preference survey of freight transportation decision-makers in East Asia and Europe to understand their perspectives towards the use of the NSR to ship cargo. A binary probit model is used to investigate the correlation between the operational and behavioral characteristics of freight transportation decision-makers and their attitudes towards maritime freight carriers operating through the NSR. The survey results suggest that a significant percentage of users will not use the NSR, at least during the initial period of operations, if the NSR is considered for container transportation between East Asia and Europe. Some perceptible differences were observed between the responses of forwarding companies, and freight transportation decision-makers from other industries, with forwarding companies less likely to use the NSR if their current carriers offer it as an alternative. Freight transportation decision-makers with large volumes, having shipments from East Asian countries but not to them, and/or ship chemical commodities, were found to be less likely to use the NSR.

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This study is based on research supported by the NEXTRANS Center, the USDOT Region 5 University Transportation Center at Purdue University. The authors gratefully thank the participation of various freight transportation decision-makers in the study survey. The authors would like to thank Dr. Helen Graas and Dr. Wei Sun for their help with identifying necessary permissions for conducting the survey, and Yuntao Guo for his valuable comments. Any errors or omissions remain the sole responsibility of the authors.

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Correspondence to Srinivas Peeta.

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Benedyk, I.V., Peeta, S. A binary probit model to analyze freight transportation decision-maker perspectives for container shipping on the Northern Sea Route. Marit Econ Logist 20, 358–374 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41278-016-0046-4

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  • Northern Sea Route
  • binary probit model
  • container transportation
  • stated preference survey
  • freight transportation demand
  • maritime transportation