The EU Commission has selected the project to show that autonomous ships and port automation can make waterborne transport much more flexible, while further reducing the environmental impact of transport in the EU.

The focus of the AEGIS project is on integrating smaller ships, inland transport and short-sea shipping with larger terminals to create a completely new European transport system.

In this way, AEGIS envisages a new waterborne transport system for Europe that leverages the benefits of ships and barges while overcoming conventional problems. Such problems include dependence on terminals, high transshipment costs, low speed and frequency and low automation in information processing.

AEGIS objectives

  • decongest road and/or city infrastructure;
  • reduce the CO2 and air pollutant emissions of intra-European freight transport;
  • enhance the performance of the CEF TEN-T network;
  • substantially increase the amount of freight fed from intercontinental European ports using waterborne transport;
  • modernize, increase the reliability and competitiveness of Intra-European Waterborne transport;
  • increase the quantity of freight moved by Inland Waterways or Short Sea Shipping;
  • reduction of accidents and injuries in the waterborne sector;
  • strengthening the European maritime industry.

Specifically, the AEGIS cases are in North Europe and represent typical short sea transports that need linkage to local distribution systems.

-Case A is led by North Sea Container Lines in cooperation with the the Port of Trondheim. It uses small cargo shuttles to link coastal container ships to rural and urban destinations.

-Case B is led by DFDS and will link RORO short sea services to inland waterways.

-Case C in led by Port of Aalborg in cooperation with Port of Vordingborg and will examine how existing ports can use automation to facilitate the transfer of cargo from trucks to sea.

A total of 12 partners from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany make up the AEGIS consortium. SINTEF Ocean coordinates the project.

The project is running from 1st June 2020 until May 2023. Overall budget is at EUR 7,510,375.