Press release -
Wilhelmsen and KONGSBERG establish world's first autonomous shipping company
Wilhelmsen and KONGSBERG are joining forces to take the next step in autonomous shipping by offering a complete value chain for autonomous ships, from design and development, to control systems, logistics services and vessel operations.
"As a world-leading maritime nation, Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships. Through the creation of the new company named Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels and be applicable to all companies that have a transport need,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.
Land-based control centres will be established to monitor and operate autonomous ships in Norway and internationally. With a combined 360 years of experience, Massterly will benefit from KONGSBERG`s unique technological expertise and solutions, and Wilhelmsen's world-leading experience in logistics and ship management operations. Norway’s position as a leading maritime nation also creates opportunities in the development of next-generation maritime personnel.
“Autonomy and remote operations are an important development for the maritime industry and Norway’s lead has been made possible as a result of close cooperation between the Norwegian maritime cluster and the Norwegian authorities. In recent years there has been rapid development driven by a significant increase in demand from customers worldwide, from the traditional maritime industry and others. When autonomous ships soon are a reality, Massterly will be crucial for digitalising the infrastructure and operations," says Geir Håøy, President and CEO of KONGSBERG.
A key milestone in Norway’s maritime autonomy story was the announcement of "Yara Birkeland" in May 2017. It will be the world's first fully-electric container vessel and will be completely autonomous by 2020, sailing between Yara's Norwegian production facilities at Herøya and the ports of Brevik and Larvik. Massterly can deliver and operate autonomous vessels such as Yara Birkeland.
"Currently, we are at the very beginning of this development, but we see and believe that there will be a significant market for these types of services in the near future. At first, short sea shipping will use autonomous ships. This also implies increased competitiveness to move transport from road to sea. The gains are increased efficiency and reduction of emissions. For Norway as a maritime nation, this will be an important contribution to reach the UN sustainable development goals," says Wilhelmsen.
The new joint venture company will be based at offices in Lysaker, Norway, and be fully operational from August 2018. For more information, please visit: www.massterly.com
For further information, please contact:
Marius Steen, Group communication manager, Wilhelmsen group, Tel.: (+47) 959 65 379.
Gunvor Midtbø, Vice President Communication, Kongsberg Maritime, Tel.: (+47) 992 14 209.
WILHELMSEN (OSE-ticker: WWI) is a global maritime industry group founded in 1861. We have the biggest maritime network in the world, with a presence in over 2 200 locations globally. We serve over half of the worldwide merchant fleet with products and services, and supply crew and technical management for some of the most complex vessels in the world. We also develop new and daring solutions, shaping the maritime industry for the future. Our investments seek to explore and develop new opportunities within the energy-, offshore- and maritime industry. With thousands of colleagues in more than 70 countries, we take competence, sustainability, innovation and unparalleled customer experiences one-step further. For more information, please visit www.wilhelmsen.com Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube
KONGSBERG (OSE-ticker: KOG) is an international, knowledge-based group delivering high technology systems and solutions to clients within the oil and gas industry, merchant marine, defence and aerospace. KONGSBERG has 7 000 employees located in more than 25 countries and total revenues of NOK 14.5 billion in 2017. Follow us on Twitter: @kongsbergasa.