DB Schenker to run zero-emission autonomous coastal container feeder

DB Schenker to run zero-emission autonomous coastal container feeder
The vessel will be first of its kind as per the Prestudy agreement to create a strong partner network for innovative, cost-effective & sustainable solutions for shipping. Image source: Naval Dynamics

DB Schenker has revealed its plans to run an innovative, zero-emission coastal container feeder between Ikornnes quay and the Port of Ålesund in Norway.

The fully electric vessel includes a unique design, reportedly making the vessel first of its kind in the world.

Having just signed the pre-study agreement, DB Schenker, and its cooperation partners – the furniture giant Ekornes and vessel designers Naval Dynamics, in addition to KONGSBERG and Massterly – have taken the first steps in an ambitious collective aim to replace the traditional feeder vessels utilised along this stretch of the Norwegian coastline.

The new autonomous and electric, short-sea container feeder leverages the Naval Dynamics’ NDS AutoBarge 250 concept developed in partnership with KONGSBERG and Massterly.

The vessel will operate between Ekornes’ own port, at Ikornnes, to the port of Ålesund which serves the main ocean freight ports in Europe, completing the 43km (23NM) voyage within three hours, at a speed of 7.7 knots. The vessel is 50 meters long and can carry 300 deadweight tonnes cargo and is designed from keel up to be fit for purpose with respect to autonomous and zero emission operation. The vessel aims to run un-crewed but supervised from Massterly’s Remote Operation Center (ROC) which is staffed with certified navigators and naval engineers.

The planned two-way data communication solution between the vessel and the ROC is destined to be another game-changer in the sea freight sector.

“We are delighted to further reinforce an already strong relationship with our customer Ekornes. This unique project will mark another important step towards greener supply chains and pays into our overall sustainability agenda in ocean freight. We are ambitiously taking the lead here with our cooperation partners,” said Knut Eriksmoen, CEO Norway, DB Schenker.