The impact of opening the Arctic Northeast Passage on the global maritime transportation network pattern using AIS data

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that the existing maritime network presents unbalanced characteristics as reported by Mou et al. (Sustainability, 10(4): 977–989, 2018). The research in this paper shows that the network movement caused by the opening of the Arctic Northeast Passage will share part of the pressure of the Belt and Road passage, which will play a positive role in the global maritime transportation network. Based on the 2014 global container Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, this research constructs a global maritime transportation network and conducts scenario simulations on the opening of the Arctic Northeast Passage. An evaluation system based on a complex network index is established to evaluate changes in the geometric characteristics of maritime network and community characteristics, and PageRank is used to evaluate the status changes of ports in communities before and after the opening of the network. Finally, the impact of the opening of the Arctic Northeast Passage on the global maritime network pattern is analyzed and discussed. Results show that after opening the Arctic Northeast Passage, (1) the small-world features of the global maritime network are more obvious and the scale-free features are weaker, which indicates that the transportation efficiency of the global network is promoted; (2) the center of global maritime network moves northward with a latitude of 1.3° and eastward with a longitude of 4°; and (3) the importance of some ports, such as the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia communities, has reduced by 0.0073, 0.0078, and 0.0092 respectively. Conversely, the importance of some ports has increased, such as the Northeast Asia community and West Europe community, with increase values of 0.0074 and 0.0097 respectively. These findings are expected to provide advice on national strategies and regional port investments.

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Funding

This research is supported in part by the Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ZDRW-ZS-2017-4-3), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771476), and Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2016DM02).

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Conceptualization, Naixia Mou; methodology, Jie Li and Hengcai Zhang; software, Jie Li and Wenbao Liu; validation, Tengfei Yang and Lingxian Zhang; writing—original draft preparation, Naixia Mou and Jie Li; writing—review and editing, Shuyue Sun and Wenbao Liu; project administration, Tengfei Yang and Lingxian Zhang.

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Correspondence to Jie Li or Wenbao Liu.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Responsible Editor: Amjad Kallel

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Mou, N., Li, J., Sun, S. et al. The impact of opening the Arctic Northeast Passage on the global maritime transportation network pattern using AIS data. Arab J Geosci 13, 419 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-020-05432-5

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Keywords

  • Arctic Northeast Passage
  • Automatic Identification System
  • Maritime transportation
  • Complex network
  • Scenario simulation
  • Network community