G2 Ocean has partnered with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and 22 maritime industry partners to study safe methods and technology for enabling ship automation.

On June 12, 2020 the Research Council of Norway awarded more than USD20 million to Norwegian research project Safe Autonomous Ships (SFI Autoship). The project aims to ensure that Norwegian companies take a leading role in the development of ship automation, especially within the areas of technology, business models and security.

G2 Ocean’s participation in the project is mainly related to autonomous cargo handling. “The largest cost to the shipowner, apart from bunkers, is the vessel’s time in port. Over the years, we expect to see more ports with 24 hours working time through better automation, without increasing labour requirements but significantly improving their safety,” said G2 Ocean’s vice president operations, Phil Curran.

G2 Ocean has also taken steps to eliminate paper bills of lading, as HLPFI reported here.

Last year, in partnership with trading and logistics firm Manuchar, G2 Ocean completed a pilot trial of CargoX’s Smart bill of lading (Smart B/L) solution. During the test, they transferred ownership of goods on shipments traveling from China to Peru.

Five separate breakbulk shipments were delivered with five Smart B/Ls. They departed the port of Xingang (China) on April 5, 2019, and reached the port of discharge, Callao (Peru) on May 26. The distance between ports is 9,504 nautical miles; the importer received the Smart B/Ls after a couple of minutes.

The solution is powered by the blockchain document transaction system (BDTS) technology. Compared to classic IT systems, the CargoX Smart B/L enables users to clearly state and transfer ownership, create bills of lading, and also attach other accompanying documentation in electronic format.

Leif Arne Strømmen, vice president of innovation at G2 Ocean, said at the time: “G2 Ocean considers smart contracts based on distributed ledgers or blockchain as a unique opportunity to digitalise and automate manual processes between its clients and subcontractors.”