Semi-autonomous inland barge in Benelux
Ship management company Seafar and Liège-based Tercofin (Novandi Group) have developed a new technology: In a trial, the 110 m long and 11.40 m wide container ship connecting the ports of Antwerp and Liège was remotely controlled and piloted from a control tower in Antwerp by using a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence. The port of Liège is therefore evolving towards semi-autonomous inland shipping.
Vincent Brassinne, Novandi’s managing director: "Remote navigation allows us to meet a realistic expectation of the inland shipping industry, as we realise that more and more captains want to have a life on land, while previously the whole family was on board all year round."
Out of its five ships and two push-barges, Tercofin, which handles inland shipping of containers between the ports of Liège and Antwerp via the DPW Liège container terminal located on Trilogiport and Renory in Liège, recently modified one of its ships to allow remote control. The company handled more than 115,000 teu in 2020. (cd)