Wartsila will build a zero-emission, autonomous intra-port, intra-terminal container barge for the Port of Rotterdam to alleviate container traffic bottlenecks and congestion.
The company said it will use several of its latest solutions as part of the barge installation, including the SmartMove Suite, which provides sensor technology with navigation systems for safe, automated ship movement.
Hendrik Busshoff, Business Development Engineer, Wärtsilä Voyage, said overland transport models will not be able to absorb future container bottlenecks.
“So, we will be delivering an autonomous e-barge concept that can greatly enhance efficiency in the Port of Rotterdam through automated seaborne cargo transhipment,” Busshoff said.
“Our ambition is to see these container shuttles introduced into a smart logistics network within the next few years.”
The installation will be part of a $30 million EU project to make port and logistics operations smarter and more sustainable.
This involves the development of a grand plan that sets out how transport within, to and from ports can be made carbon-free by 2050.
The research project, nicknamed MAGPIE (sMArt Green Ports as Integrated Efficient multimodal hubs) was borne out of a collaboration between the port authorities of Rotterdam, DeltaPort (Germany), HAROPA (France: La Havre, Rouen, Paris) and Sines (Portugal), in partnership with 10 research institutions and over 30 companies in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal and Denmark.
Ori Marom, Director of Smart Mobility & 5G, Port of Rotterdam, said, “We are proud to partner with Wärtsilä Voyage and Zero Emission Services (ZES) in the development of autonomous solutions for intra-port container transshipment.
“The future of port logistics belongs to intelligent connected and sustainable systems such as the autonomous e-barge system that we now set to develop together. We very much look forward to this highly promising collaboration.”