Enabling sustainable logistics with autonomous ships

Massterly is developing environmentally friendly and advanced maritime logistics solutions for autonomous shipping.


Growing trailer traffic in major cities around the world is increasing congestion, pollution and accidents. While there is political support in Norway to ease congestion and emissions by shifting freight from road to sea, trucks continue to be the cheaper, preferred alternative. Transporting cargo by ship is only cost-effective for longer distances or large-volume shipments.

Shifting cargo freight from road to sea

Massterly is addressing the major cost drivers of short sea shipping with services for the entire value chain for “Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships” (MASS). These include vessel design and approval by relevant authorities as well as control systems, logistics services, vessel operations, insurance and assistance in financing.

Because they require little or no onboard crew and are operated from land-based control centres, autonomous vessels will make short sea shipping more competitive and open up a new market for the maritime industry in Norway and internationally.

Concrete benefits

Investment costs will decrease over time as autonomous vessels can be built without crew accommodation and safety equipment, bridge, heating, ventilation, and waste and water systems. Efficient land-based operation of multiple vessels will lower the cost of operations.

Moreover, unmanned vessels will allow for lower speeds, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Decreasing speed from ten to eight knots, for example, can cut energy consumption by half.

Autonomous ships will also improve safety. Seventy-five per cent of maritime accidents are caused by human error, the leading cause being fatigue and attention deficit.

Unmanned vessels will primarily be maintained in port, not at sea. They must therefore be built with a minimum of rotating parts, i.e. electric propulsion, thereby generating low or zero emissions.

Market potential

The autonomous ships market is estimated to grow from USD 6.1 billion in 2018 to USD 13.8 billion by 2023. The EU aims to shift 30 per cent of all cargo currently transported more than 300 km by road to sea or rail by 2030.

Massterly AS started operations in September 2018 and is a joint venture between KONGSBERG, which specialises in advanced technology, and Wilhelmsen, which specialises in logistics and ship management operations Together, the companies have a combined 360 years of experience.

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Strandveien 20, 1366 LYSAKER, Norway


At a glance

  • Efficient logistics for entire value chain for autonomous ships

  • Fully electric ships have zero emissions

  • Reduced crew reduces investment and operating costs



Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals