News / 3.6.2020

Autonomous vessels meet autonomous ports

Small ships and inland barges can decongest roads, reduce pollution from noise and dust, while operating on batteries or other non-carbon fuels to provide green transport solutions.

By automating ports and terminals and use these to integrate longer distance ship operations with the smaller ships, a completely new European transport system can be developed. More flexible and user-centric transport, better services to rural as well as urban areas and a revitalization of the regional ports and city terminals is the goal.

New solutions to tackle bottlenecks in waterborne transport

The AEGIS use-cases are located in North Europe and represent typical inter-European transports that need to be linked to local distribution systems. Case A is led by North Sea Container Line in cooperation with the the Port of Trondheim. It uses small cargo shuttles to link coastal container ships to rural and urban destinations in the region. This saves time for the larger ships and adds flexibility and frequency with the shuttles. Case B is led by DFDS and will link RORO short sea services in BeNeLux to inland waterways. Case C is led by Port of Aalborg in cooperation with Port of Vordingborg and will examine how existing small and medium sized ports can use automation to facilitate the transfer of cargo from trucks to sea. In all cases, automatic transshipment is an important factor.

The consortium consists of technology providers Kalmar and MacGregor, both part of Cargotec, to develop new solutions for cargo handling in ports and on vessels. Grieg Connect will provide corresponding solutions for digital integration and automation. The AEGIS consortium comprises 12 highly qualified partners from 4 countries: Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany. The project is coordinated by SINTEF Ocean in Norway and its duration is three years, starting June 1st 2020.

“As a supplier of system solutions for ports and terminals, it is important to always stay ahead of new technology. Ports as natural logistic hubs must address the challenges and opportunities that lie in digitalization, to facilitate the valuable benefits of maritime transport, in terms of efficiency, safety and environmental considerations. AEGIS is an ambitious project lead by Sintef Ocean, and a great opportunity for us at Grieg Connect to be a part of the solutions of tomorrow. The risk of doing nothing for the maritime industry, will be that sea transport is losing market shares to other industry that offers freight by road, air and railway.» – Vidar Fagerheim, Managing Director, Grieg Connect.

AEGIS – Advanced, Efficient and Green Intermodal Systems

AEGIS is a research and innovation project with a total funding of 7,5 M€ from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement N°859992. It will leverage a multidisciplinary team to integrate new innovations from the area of Connected and Automated Transport (CAT) to design the next generation sustainable and highly competitive waterborne transport system in Europe.The project comprises: more diverse sizes of ships and more flexible ship systems, automated cargo handling, ports and short sea shuttles, standardized cargo units and new digital technologies.

For more information, dont hesitate to contact the Grieg Connect Team