A cargo vessel operated by state-owned shipper Cosco (1919.HKG, 601919.SHA) is undertaking a groundbreaking voyage to Europe via the Northeast Passage, Agence France-Press reported, citing state media. This is the first journey of its kind by a Chinese ship. The Arctic route has become navigable due to global warming melting sea ice and could revolutionize the shipping trade by slashing the journey time by 12 to 15 days. The reduction in time could save shipping companies and Chinese exporters millions in lower fuel bills and reduced operating costs. The new route is an alternative to the Suez Canal.