Pioneer in Norway: DB Schenker to move containers by unmanned battery-powered feeder ship
Norway occupies a special place in implementing zero-emission transport solutions by DB Schenker. After arranging innovative distribution logistics in the country’s major cities, the Germany-headquartered company intends to launch an autonomous and battery-powered coastal container feeder ship. It will be the first vessel of this type in Norway.
A concept of an innovative feeder ship was designed by several Norwegian companies such as Naval Dynamics, KONGSBERG and Massterly. She is expected to become the first zero-emission coastal container feeder in Norway. DB Schenker and Ekornes, the country’s largest furniture producer, will be her first operators. They will use the vessel for transporting containers between the Port of Ikorness, owned by Ekornes, and the Port of Ålesund, which has a well-developed network of shipping lines with other European harbours.
“The AutoBarge 250 Coast Feeder is designed from the keel up for efficient and zero-emission autonomous operations. In partnership with Massterly AS – the vessel operator and technical manager – and Kongsberg Maritime AS – the technology provider – we are confident that DB Schenker and Ekornes will be provided with an optimal and viable transport chain that will meet the future demands of customers around the world,” said Øystein Jaer, CEO of Naval Dynamics.
Sailing without crew
According to DB Schenker, the innovative feeder container ship will run the 43-kilometre-long distance within three hours, at a speed of 7.7 knots. With a length of 50 metres, she will be able to move 300 deadweight tonnes of freight. Since the concept of the feeder vessel was designed for sailing without a crew, it will be controlled by staff at Massterly’s Remote Operation Center (ROC), whose team members include certified navigators and naval engineers.
“With this landmark project, we will meet our sustainability targets by using the most innovative technology available. Utilising the autonomous electric container feeder for direct pickups of our Stressless products from our own dock in Ikornnes means that our total carbon footprint will be reduced significantly. We will also gain better control over, and greater flexibility with, our own logistics,” noted Roger Lunde, CEO of Ekornes.
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