Exploring the likelihood of Arctic port development in accordance with future growth of the trans-Arctic shipping market
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This analysis assesses the population levels, degree of shelter, and water depth of 150 ports in the Arctic region and considers port likelihood of development in the context of a growing trans-Arctic shipping market which is expected to grow substantially (Melia, 2016). It is vital that the relevant stakeholders prepare in the most effective manner for the future due to Arctic-wide concerns regarding scarcity of search and rescue facilities, environmental catastrophes, the declining population levels resulting from the threat of climate change to traditional industries (Gunnarrsson, 2015). This is the first research which explores the likelihood of port development with respect to historical ship track data (aggregated by cargo, oil tanker and passenger ships) to identify development opportunities in the context of the trans-Arctic shipping industry. Desirable port attributes are highlighted using calibrated variables using the fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) method (Ragin, 2008). Ports close to historical ship tracks with desirable attributes are highlighted, and their likelihood of future development is further explored in terms of recent developments and additional attributes. Unlike in previous analyses, an underlying assumption is that ports which have previously benefitted from development and/or are currently being considered for future development share attributes indicative of future development, and that development is likely to where there are existing settlements. The results indicate that the Eastern Russian ports of Pevek and Provideniya, the Alaskan port Kotzebue, and the Canadian ports Cambridge Bay and Coppermine (Kugluktuk) are the most likely to benefit from the trans-Arctic shipping market.