Just don’t do it: Nike and others demand ships avoid the Arctic

Major brands are increasingly dictating how shipping operates. Whether it’s demands for greener shipments or signing up to freight platforms, shippers are calling the shots. This strong arming of the industry is now being felt even in where ships move.

Nike has become the latest big name to team up with the Ocean Conservancy to launch the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge, inviting businesses and industry to join in a commitment against shipping through the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge invites companies to commit to not intentionally send ships through this fragile Arctic ecosystem. Other signatories include Bestseller, Columbia, Gap, H&M, Kering, Li & Fung, PVH, and ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company.

“The dangers of trans-Arctic shipping routes outweigh all perceived benefits and we cannot ignore the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping on our ocean,” commented Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “Ocean Conservancy applauds Nike for recognizing the real bottom line here is a shared responsibility for the health of the Arctic—and believes the announcement will spur much-needed action to prevent risky Arctic shipping and hopes additional commitments to reduce emissions from global shipping will emerge.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Well done Nike and others! Oil Major charterers have been doing this for decades and dictating routeing for vessels in their service. It’s about time that major container shippers took some responsibility and do the same.

  2. Trans – Arctic shipping is not just ‘risky’ – it is damaging. Even if the ‘pollution’ is kept down to zero, crushing the ice sheet increases the solar radiation absobtion and the warming up of the Arctic waters.

  3. cheap talk for promotional reasons as always… unless anyone thought that the sight of 15kteu ships traversing the polar seas was just around the corner.

  4. Us doesn’t want russia to get more power on commercial routesThat’s the main reason of dictation.Instead of shipping industry they could take other actions to launch recyclable products.

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