The Past, The Present, and the Future of Transportation by Inland Waterways From The Baltic to the North Ice Sea in the Russian FederationHüseyin Karabulut
Due to global climate change, melting glaciers have significantly impacted waterway transportation by providing new trade routes in sea and ocean regions. These new alternative routes will not only alleviate the traffic burden on existing canals and the Bosphorus, but also save distance and time in transportation. The Russian Federation persists at the forefront of waterway transportation, with exceptionally safe and economical waterways, compared to other avenues of transportation. Featuring the longest coast and inland waterway in the Arctic, the Russian Federation is developing a strategic plan for waterway expansion to be fully enacted by 2030. This research explores the contribution of natural and artificial inland waterways to the country’s economy, along with the canals, rivers, and lakes that connect the Baltic Sea and Arctic Ocean. First, this study examines the transportation activities on the most common inland waterways and canals around the world and their significance on trade. Second, this study analyzes the economic and ecological dimensions of these inland waterways, in comparison with transportation by air, land, and railway. Finally, this study evaluates the present and future contributions of inland waterways, canals, rivers, and lakes that link the Baltic and the Arctic Sea to the domestic and international trade in the Russian Federation. Within the framework of this study, the literature review includes Turkish, English, and Russian sources.
Rusya Federasyonu’nda Baltık Denizi’nden Kuzey Buz Denizi’ne İç Su Yolları ile Ulaşımının Dünü, Bugünü ve YarınıHüseyin Karabulut
Küresel iklim değişikliğinin ve buzulların erimesinin su yolları taşımacılığına etkisi büyüktür. Buzulların erimesiyle deniz ve okyanus bölgelerinde açılan alanlarda yeni ticaret rotaları ortaya çıkmaktadır. Alternatif açılan yeni rotalar var olan kanal ve boğazların yükünü hafifletecek, taşımacılık sektörüne de mesafe ve zaman tasarrufu sağlayacaktır. Su yolları üzerinde yapılan ulaşımın diğer ulaşım türlerine göre daha güvenli ve ekonomik olması Rusya Federasyonu’nu (RF) ön plana çıkarmaktadır. Arktika Bölgesi’nde en uzun deniz kıyısına ve iç su yoluna sahip RF 2030 yılına kadar su yolları stratejik planını hazırlamıştır. Bu çalışmamızın konusu iç su yollarının ve suni olarak inşa edilen su kanallarının ülke ekonomisindeki yeri ile Baltık Denizi-Beyaz Deniz arasında bağlantı sağlayan kanallar, nehirler ve göllerdir. Çalışmada önce dünya üzerindeki belli başlı önemli iç su yollarının ve kanalların üzerinde yapılan taşımacılık faaliyetleri ile ticaretteki önemi üzerinde durulacaktır. İç su yollarının kara, hava ve demir yollarına göre daha ekonomik ve ekolojik boyutu incelenerek ardından Rusya Federasyonu’nun Beyaz Deniz-Baltık Denizi bağlantısını sağlayan iç su yolları, kanalları ve göllerinin ticarete yaptıkları ve yapabileceği katkıları incelenmeye çalışılacaktır. Çalışma çerçevesinde literatür taraması yapılmış , konu hakkında yapılan çalışmalar incelenmiş, Türkçe, İngilizce ve Rusça kaynaklar kullanılmıştır.
Global climate change and melting glaciers confer a great impact on waterway transportation. With the melting of glaciers, new trade routes are emerging in areas opened in the sea and ocean regions. As the air temperature rapidly rises in the North Pole, thick ice layers are melting and thinning in the Arctic Region. Naturally, the impacts of climate change will spread to affect Asia, Europe, and Turkey. The warmer temperatures will raise the water level in some places, creating floods and overflowing, while causing water to recede in other areas. Alternative new routes will alleviate the traffic burden on existing canals and straits, saving time and distance for the transportation sector. The Russian Federation (RF) exists at the forefront of safer and more economical waterway transportation, compared to other types of transportation. With the longest seashore and inland waterway in the Arctic Region, the RF has prepared a strategic waterway transportation plan spanning to 2030. Using inland waterways, Russia will foreseeably connect with five seas: the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Azov Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea. Thus, a ship may soon use the Arctic Sea routes and inland waterways from the Arctic Region to reach the Black Sea via Moscow. In almost every relevant period, transportation has occurred over streams and rivers with the observed opening of water channels. Due to the economic and ecological nature of the waterways, the development of the ship industry and technology has facilitated transportation. Rivers and streams such as the Danube, Nile, Rhine, Yenisei, Mississippi, and Amazon are important waterways. Many countries have directed their routes into canals and straits, aligned with Alfred Thayer Mahan’s idea that “to dominate the sea, you need to have strait and canals.” Leading canals of commercial value include the Panama Canal, Suez Canal, Don-Volga Canal, Moscow-Volga Canal, Kiel Canal, and Mittelland Canal. Russia, which has a large geographical area, features the longest artificial and natural channels in the world. While the total length of inland waterways was 64,000 km in the early 20th century, Russia has since developed the longest inland waterways in the world, exceeding 101,000 km. With a set goal for 2030, Russia has begun studies to increase its commercial volume and maintain its superiority in waterway transportation. Russia has long neglected the northern region where the climate is harsh and covered with vast forests. However, the country made a great breakthrough with the canal projects and construction successively carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries. The connection of the White Sea and the Baltic Sea was completed in 1933 and opened to traffic. The White Sea—Baltic Canal, one of the first five major projects of the Soviet period, provide an important strategic and security point. Gulag prisoners were used in the construction of the canal, which was completed in 20 months and cost the lives of many people. Additionally, important lakes, streams, and artificial channels connect the Baltic Sea to the White Sea. In Russia, geography is defined by an excess of lakes, streams, and rivers, which necessitate waterway transportation. Russia will maintain its superiority through the improvement and development of inland waterways, especially along the Northern Sea Route. The distance between Hamburg, one of the biggest ports of Europe, and the Shanghai port of China in Asia is approximately 20,000 km over the Suez Canal. Contrastingly, these two points are approximately 14,000 km apart over the North Sea Route. Due to the great reduction of distance and time, the Northern Sea Route serves as an expected alternative to important canals such as the Suez Canal and Panama Canal. In addition, the inland waterways may be opened to tourism by integrating the Northern Sea routes with the rivers, lakes, and streams in the Northern regions. This research focuses on the role of the inland waterways and the built water canals in the country’s economy, as well as the channels, rivers, and lakes that connect the Baltic Sea to the White Sea. First, the study will emphasize the importance of transportation activities and trade implications regarding the major inland waterways and canals of the world. The study will then examine the economic and ecological aspects of inland waterways in comparison to land, air, and railway transportation. Lastly, this study will explore the trade contributions of the RF’s inland waterways, channels, and lakes that connect the White Sea to the Baltic Sea. Within the framework of the research, the literature review includes books and articles from primarily Russian, Turkish, and English sources.