Technology

Norway's Asko Tests Maritime Drones For Emission-Free Goods Transport

By Dayeeta Das
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Norwegian grocery wholesaler and NorgesGruppen subsidiary, Asko is testing two maritime drones to move goods across the Oslofjord, a 107km long 'fjord' (sea inlet) in the south-east of Norway.

The wholesaler, also a SPAR Norway operator in the country, has warehouses on both sides of the Oslofjord.

It supplies goods to a vast network of stores in the Greater Oslo Region, including over 80 SPAR stores.

The company operates up to 150 diesel-based trailers between regional warehouses each day to transport goods via heavily trafficked roads.

Drone Delivery System

Asko's unmanned maritime drone delivery system is based on a zero-emission model that incorporates state-of-the-art transport technologies and uses Norway’s waterways.

Operating across the 'fjord' between the ports in Moss and Horten, the battery-based, electric vessels are designed for autonomous sailing.

In cooperation with Asko’s main warehouses in Sande and Vestby, goods will be transported by electric lorries to the ports, where autonomous terminal tractors will pull the trailers on board.

The vessels will then transport the trailers across the Oslofjord, before they are picked up by electric lorries and driven to regional warehouses Asko Agder and Asko Vestfold-Telemark.

The port offers ABB charging points for lorries and terminal tractors, while the maritime drones charge while docked.

Climate-Neutral Transport

The project aligns with Asko's climate-neutral transport strategy and its goal to reduce mileage on congested roads by 2026.

The vessels are scheduled to operate four times each way daily from mid-2023 between Moss and Horten.

The initiative will replace one million road kilometres of lorry transport per year, or the equivalent of approximately 16,600 driver hours.

It is projected to contribute to lower transport costs and an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 5,000 tonnes.

Approximately 83 SPAR stores will benefit from goods moving between Asko’s central warehouse in Vestby to its regional warehouses via the maritime drones.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest technology news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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