Development of a search and rescue framework for maritime freight shipping in the Arctic

Benz L, Münch C, Hartmann E (2021)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


Pages Range: 54-69

Journal Issue: 152


DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2021.07.006


In recent years, Arctic routes have been receiving increasing attention, as they offer a solution to capacity bottlenecks on the most frequented routes, such as the Suez Canal, Strait of Malacca, and Panama Canal. Due to climate change and melting polar ice, Arctic routes, especially the Northern Sea Route/Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage, are becoming increasingly competitive. The consequence of this development is an increase in maritime traffic in Arctic waters. Due to the harsh environment, maritime activities in the Arctic are associated with numerous risks, as reflected in the 512 incidents in the last decade. Therefore, sufficient search and rescue capabilities are necessary to ensure safety. Thus far, various studies have focused on different components of search and rescue, such as port infrastructureicebreaker capabilities, and navigation. However, there is no study offering a framework for the required further development of search and rescue capabilities. Therefore, in this paper, a search and rescue framework is proposed. The development of the framework is based on a literature review of dimensions of search and rescue in the Arctic. Semi-structured interviews with 24 experts regarding the identified dimensions were conducted. The results of the qualitative content analysis show a total of 23 top-codes and 50 subcodes, which are presented and discussed. The discussion leads to the presentation of the search and rescue framework, including the dimensions port infrastructuresearch and rescue equipmentcommunication technologynavigation technologystandards and agreements, and cooperation and the respective top-codes. Finally, limitations are addressed, and starting points for further research are proposed.

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How to cite


Benz, L., Münch, C., & Hartmann, E. (2021). Development of a search and rescue framework for maritime freight shipping in the Arctic. Transportation Research Part A-Policy and Practice, 152, 54-69.


Benz, Lukas, Christopher Münch, and Evi Hartmann. "Development of a search and rescue framework for maritime freight shipping in the Arctic." Transportation Research Part A-Policy and Practice 152 (2021): 54-69.

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