The news of the manufacturing stop for Yara Birkeland, the first autonomous-guide electric container ship, arouses the debate about the green future of intermodal logistics. The matter was the transition of the transport from road to sea, reducing noise, pollution and fine dusts, with more safety of local viability.

The means, focus of the project started by Vard and Yara International in collaboration with Kongsberg Gruppen, which designs and develops autonomous-guide systems for military and civil vehicles, has captured the attention of the entire world. The “green” container ship is aimed at delivering goods in Norway through fiords, transporting products from Porsgrunn manufacturing site to Brevik and Larvik cities.
The reduction of nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions that would occur in the region are equal to those generated by about 40,000 travels per year of trucks.
The loading capacity of Yara Birkeland, which will cover a course of approximately 40 miles at a maximum speed of 10 knots, is equal to 150 TEU. Besides, also the loading and unloading phase will be sustainable: it will occur with electric equipment.
In the opinion of Svein Tore Holsether, president and managing director of Yara, “this new autonomous battery container ship accomplishes the transition of the transport from road to sea, reducing noise and fine dusts and improving the safety of local viability.”

The means was expected to be ready in the first months of 2020, becoming at fully autonomous guide in 2022, but Pandemic has postponed everything. Let us see …