Cargo Ferry Clears Motorways, Protects Wallets

Using LNG-fueled ships to carry containers that are currently transported on trucks for long distances to and from coastal Norwegian towns could lead to a 20% – 30% reduction in transportation costs, according to the results of a two-year Cargo Ferry project led by DNV GL, Shortsea Services and Marintek.

The Cargo Ferry project report was presented in Oslo April 21, on board Nor Line’s brand-new LNG fuelled ship, the M/S Kvitbjørn.

The report presents a logistics solution, concept ship and market analysis, while also documenting the Cargo Ferry’s potential profitability.

The main market for the Cargo Ferry concept is goods that are currently transported for 200 kilometers and more across Norway. After conducting extensive customer analyses and interviews, the project has identified this market as covering some 17-20 million tonnes of goods each year.

“The analyses show there is a significant potential market for a maritime-based logistics solution,” said Remi Eriksen, DNV GL Group Executive Vice President and COO.

The Cargo Ferry concept offers transport to and from destinations that are linked together by efficient maritime transport on four main routes, including distribution to and from ports.


Cargo Ferry is built around a concept for a new “lift on/lift off” (LoLo) vessel. With its own cranes and cell guides the vessel can carry 110-140 40-foot/45-foot containers. The ship has a service speed of 12-15 knots, is LNG-fuelled, has a battery for hybrid operation and can use shore power.

A fully developed solution with the capacity to deal with the cargo volume identified in the report will require 14 ships transporting the equivalent of 220,000-270,000 45-foot containers annually.

“It will be possible to transfer five million tonnes of cargo from roads to the sea, at a minimal cost to the authorities. This represents an annual benefit to society of some 1.3 billion NOK. On top of that, the reduction in road traffic means fewer accidents on the roads, less road maintenance and a dramatic drop in CO2 emissions as well as emissions of SOx and NOx, which gives a positive health outcome,” says Eriksen.