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MacGregor and R-R to collaborate on autonomous box ships

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MARCH 23, 2017 — MacGregor and Rolls-Royce are to collaborate on R&D exploring the impact of developments in autonomy for cargo ship navigation and cargo systems onboard containerships.

“Rolls-Royce is pioneering remotely controlled and autonomous ships and believes such a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade and a common sight on the high seas by 2030,” said Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital and Systems. “For the full benefits of such a change to be realized many activities currently done today manually will need to be done autonomously. This research will help us explore how that might be achieved.\

“As a leading provider of cargo handling solutions and services for container vessels, MacGregor brings a detailed knowledge of the cargo sector and can provide valuable insights into marine cargo operations and the technology and systems needed to make them as efficient and safe as possible.”

Pasi Lehtonen, Senior VP, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, MacGregor said; “MacGregor wants to reshape and transform the industry to make it much more efficient, safer and more sustainable. In the segments where we operate, we see a lot of unnecessary waste in the forms of inefficiency, damage to cargo, and continuously dangerous working conditions. Our aim is to minimize this waste from the value network and this collaboration on autonomy for containerships is a good example of where industry leaders work together to transform the industry.”

MacGregor is a part of the Cargotec Group with sister companies Hiab and Kalmar providing expertise on road load handling and ports and terminals, respectively.

MacGregor says it continues to develop new solutions and services as a seamlessly integrated mix of both hardware and software. Its development of new services will be based on identifying where unnecessary industry waste is taking place and developing solutions that ensure maximized value in our customers’ operations.

MacGregor says its PlusPartner program illustrates how it is improving efficiency by taking a whole-ship approach and working forward from the cargo profile. This must happen at an early stage of the ship project, before any restrictive decisions have been made. As a result of this forward-thinking approach, it is possible to improve the specified loading ability and the efficiency of the entire cargo handling system. As an example of this it cites the Barzan, the first of United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) six 18,800 TEU containerships built by shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI), which set new standards in fuel and energy efficiency.

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