ShippingLab: Denmark Wants to Be a Driver of Smart Shipping of the Future

The journey towards Denmark’s first autonomous and environmentally-friendly ship started this March with the launch of ShippingLab.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Rolls-Royce

More than 30 partners have established ShippingLab, the ambitious platform for maritime research, development and innovation.

Shipping companies J. Lauritzen, Maersk Tankers, DFDS, Torm and a range of other shipping firms, industrial maritime suppliers, research and technology institutions and universities have formed the partnership, where industry and academia work together with the purpose of solving practical issues to the benefit of society.

The overarching goal of the partnership is to develop Denmark’s first autonomous, environmentally friendly ship. The pathway to achieving that goal will also include workstreams on digital ship operation and decarbonization, according to J. Lauritzen.

The workstream on digital ship operation will focus on the development of intelligent solutions, for instance by adopting machine-learning data analytics.

In addition, the workstream on decarbonization will focus on areas such as the electrification of ship propulsion and the use of multiple power sources in a hybrid setup. The goal is to introduce clean tech solutions with low or no carbon footprint, to be used during port stay, for instance.

The partnership is supported by various Danish Funds including the Danish Innovation Fund, the Danish Maritime Fund and Lauritzen Fonden. The project is scheduled to run for three years.

J. Lauritzen is involved in different subgroups of ShippingLab and Senior Vice President, Claus Winther Graugaard, Head of Fleet Management, is a member of the steering committee of the partnership.

“The ShippingLab innovation platform is a fantastic collaboration opportunity for J.Lauritzen and its industry peers to partner up with mutual interest and motivation to identify and apply new clever solutions and technology to a number of use cases,” Graugaard said.

“ShippingLab is an enabler for players in The Blue Denmark to accelerate how we compete together against the rest of the world,” he added.

The group that has started ShippingLab represents a selection of Blue Denmark – the country’s maritime cluster. However, Shipping Lab is not a closed initiative and other organizations can join.