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New solution for shortsea shipping

NCL, the Norwegian feeder and shortsea carrier, has introduced a totally new concept for shortsea shipping. Check video here!

An aging fleet, stricter emission standards and a desire to move transport from roads to sea, generates a need for new solutions for coastal transport.

Recently a new ship concept was launched. Short Sea Pioneer is a revolutionary two-vessel solution that may change the way we transport goods in Europe. If successful, the concept will make eco-friendly coastal transport more competitive with road transport.

- Cargo volumes will increase 30-40% over the next 25 years. If we are not able to shift cargo from road to sea we will have too many truck on our roads and currently sea transport is not competitive along our coast, says Hege Okland from cluster NCE Maritime Cleantech, the company behind the concept.

North Sea Container Line (NCL), a Norwegian shipping line, has been central to the development of Short Sea Pioneer.

- The current situation for NCL in Svelgen, where we collect cargo from Elkem, is that the port is too small. Therefore the cargo must be transported by truck to a larger port before it can be loaded. This applies to several places along our coast, says Arne Jakobsen from North-Sea Container Line in Haugesund.

2-vessels solution

Eker Sandvik, A Norwegian design company, is responsible for the concept, which has been developed in close dialogue with key players in the industry. The focus has been to rethink existing solutions to solve future challenges.

- Based on a systematic mapping of the challenges for short sea shipping, we found a transport solutions with two vessels. A mother ship is designed for freight between key locations along a coast. A daughter vessel will make the shipment from the mother vessel to the smaller ports, says Økland.

- The vessels are designed for transshipment from the mother vessel to the daughter vessel at sea at selected points along the coast. Based on experience from offshore ships we know that such a two-vessel solution is feasible.

- The solution can be used along the entire Norwegian coast line, especially for industry locations with small ports, such as Odda, Maløy, Svelgen and Hardanger.

The daughter vessel will have a propulsion system with zero emissions technology, thus helping to bring down emissions in ports.

- This is an important development to reduce emissions related to transportation in general and especially in port cities where emissions from both land and sea must be reduced, says Hege Okland from NCE Maritime Cleantech.

Suitable for the entire coast

A rough estimate from NCL says that they can save NOK 60 million - 15% of their turnover - with such a two-vessel concept.

- With the developed solution, we can collect cargo also in smaller ports and deliver cargo closer to the customer. We can thus transport more of the cargo by sea and less by road. For an operation like ours with a turnover of approximately NOK 400 million we coult gain NOK 60 million through increased revenue and reduced costs, says Arne Jakobsen from NCL.

Short Sea Pioneer may be part of the overall solution to key challenges for the maritime industry, for transport and for the environment.

- The "Short Sea Pioneer" consept is a good example showing that the Norwegian maritime industry has the expertise needed to develop the next generation transport solution, with coastal areas worldwide as potentially export market, says Hege Økland of NCE Maritime CleanTech.

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