Danish workboat manufacturer ProZero International has joined the MOSES shortsea shipping project. One of the innovations the company will be working on is an autonomous system for manoeuvring and docking ships.

MOSES stands for AutoMated Vessels and Supply Chain Optimisation for Sustainable Short Sea Shipping. The EU funded project brings together a consortium of seventeen partners from seven EU countries, including TNO and MARIN from the Netherlands. Together they will try to improve the modal split for shortsea shipping in the European container supply chain.

MOSES is coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and aims to significantly enhance the shortsea shipping component of the European container supply chain by addressing the vulnerabilities and strains that relate to the operation of large container ships. MOSES will follow a two-fold strategy, which consists of reducing the total time to berth and stimulating the use of shortsea feeder services to small ports (hub and spoke traffic) that have limited or no infrastructure.

To achieve its objectives MOSES will implement the following innovations:

  • For shortsea shipping, a hybrid feeder will be developed, designed to accommodate cases where ports do not have the means to load/unload. The feeder will be equipped with a robotic container handling system that is self-sufficient in terms of loading and unloading of containers and enhances the operational capacity of small ports.
  • Secondly, an autonomous system for manoeuvring and docking ships (MOSES AutoDock) will be developed, which will provide operational independence from the availability of port nautical services (pilots, tugs and mooring).
  • A digital platform (MOSES platform) will also be developed to link demand and supply of cargo volumes (shippers, forwarders, shipping companies, ports). The platform will use machine learning and big data (availability of modes, cargo volumes and delivery times) to maximize shortsea shipping.

Automated workboat/tug platforms

ProZero International will contribute to the second and third objective by developing automated workboat/tug platforms that can be part of the autonomous vessel manoeuvring and docking scheme (MOSES AutoDock).

‘We are extremely delighted to take part in this exiting project,’ says Managing Director of ProZero International, Jonas Pedersen. ‘With the ProZero range of workboats we strive to stay at the forefront of technology developments and we do see automation and automated processes as a huge part of the future, therefore the MOSES is eagerly awaited.’