Authors: Roberto Rivas Hermann, Ning Lin, Julien Lebel, Alina Kovalenko
Centre for High North Logistics, Nord University Business School, Nord University, Norway
Nordland Research Institute, Bodø, Norway
Previous research on the viability and challenges of commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) has thus far neglected to fully explain the connections between operational models for viable year-round commercial shipping along the NSR and port infrastructure services. In particular, little attention has been paid to the function of ports as transshipment hubs for emerging polar routes. The purpose of this paper is to synthetize the extant knowledge on the topic of Arctic ports and their function as transshipment hubs for polar routes. Following a systematic literature review methodology and using a configurative synthesis, This article analyzes a sample of 47 peer-reviewed articles indexed in high-quality academic databases to examine the extant research on transshipment hubs from a multi-dimensional perspective. The article proposes policy recommendations to address the identified gaps in the literature of transshipment hub functions for the NSR around the following axes: the operational and design features of transshipment terminals; the geopolitical and governance requirements of developing deep-water transshipment terminals; funding possibilities for the operation of transshipment terminals; and the development of a port system that is useful for the whole Arctic.