Another pioneering Norwegian pair of vessels have hit the waters, advancing shipping’s path to autonomous operations.
ASKO, a grocery distributor, has christened a pair of vessels which are electrically powered and can operate autonomously, following in the wake of the Yara Birkeland, a landmark ship that has been operating since the start of the year.
Built at state-owned Cochin Shipyard in India, ASKO Maritime’s new vessels, called Marit and Therese, will mainly carry groceries for NorgesGruppen’s chains along Norway’s fjords. Initially, the ships will sail with a limited crew of around four people, including captains. After an extensive trial period of two years, the plan is to let them sail completely without people onboard.
Fully electric trucks will take the cargo between the warehouses and the ports of Moss and Horten, and in shipments of 16 the trailers will be transported across a fjord on the new battery-driven vessels.