MacGregor and Rolls-Royce to explore implications of autonomy for container ships

23 March, 2017 – MacGregor, part of Cargotec, and Rolls-Royce have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on research and development to explore the impact of developments in autonomy for cargo ship navigation and cargo systems onboard container ships. This collaboration will harness both companies’ unique experience laying the groundwork for the development of autonomous container ships.

Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital and Systems, said: “Rolls-Royce is pioneering remotely controlled and autonomous ships and believes such a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade and a common sight on the high seas by 2030. For the full benefits of such a change to be realised many activities currently done today manually will need to be done autonomously. This research will help us explore how that might be achieved.

As a leading provider of cargo handling solutions and services for container vessels, MacGregor brings a detailed knowledge of the cargo sector and can provide valuable insights into marine cargo operations and the technology and systems needed to make them as efficient and safe as possible

Pasi Lehtonen, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, MacGregor said; “MacGregor wants to reshape and transform the industry to make it much more efficient, safer and more sustainable. In the segments where we operate, we see a lot of unnecessary waste in the forms of inefficiency, damage to cargo, and continuously dangerous working conditions. Our aim is to minimise this waste from the value network and this collaboration on autonomy for container ships is a good example of where industry leaders work together to transform the industry.

About MacGregor and aim to remove the unnecessary industry waste

Cargotec invests in the transformation to become the leader in intelligent cargo handling. Being part of Cargotec gives MacGregor a unique position. From our sister companies Hiab (on road load handling) and Kalmar (in ports and terminals) we can learn a lot and we shall also utilise the combined global pool of talented people and best practices.

In the new era, Industry 4.0 (fourth industrial revolution), the exponentially increasing amount of data will offer great opportunities for our industries with access to real-time information. Connectivity will enable remote diagnostics and control and gradually autonomous vessel operations. We continue to expand our portfolio at MacGregor with new solutions and services, which will be a seamlessly integrated mix of both hardware and software. The development of these new services will be based on our approach of identifying where unnecessary industry waste is taking place within the ecosystems and developing solutions that ensure maximised value in our customers’ operations.

MacGregor PlusPartner program illustrates well how we at MacGregor are developing the efficiency by taking a whole-ship approach and working forward from the cargo profile. This must happen at an early stage of the ship project, before any restrictive decisions have been made. As a result of this forward-thinking approach, it is possible to improve the specified loading ability and the efficiency of the entire cargo handling system. Greatest example of this is the record-winning container ship Barzan, the first of United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) six 18,800 TEU containerships built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI), which set new standards in fuel and energy efficiency.

For more information please contact:

Pasi Lehtonen, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, MacGregor
Tel. +358 40 557 3881, Email:


Heli Malkavaara, Senior Communications Manager, MacGregor, tel. +358 20 777 4500

MacGregor shapes the offshore and marine industries by offering world-leading engineering solutions and services with a strong portfolio of MacGregor, Hatlapa, Porsgrunn, Pusnes and Triplex brands. Shipbuilders, owners and operators are able to optimise the lifetime profitability, safety, reliability and environmental sustainability of their operations by working in close cooperation with MacGregor.

MacGregor solutions and services for handling marine cargoes, vessel operations, offshore loads, crude/LNG transfer and offshore mooring are all designed to perform with the sea.

MacGregor is part of Cargotec. Cargotec’s (Nasdaq Helsinki: CGCBV) sales in 2016 totaled approximately EUR 3.5 billion and it employs over 11,000 people.