12° Nicosia,
17 June, 2024

South Korea launches first self-sailing container ship

Cutting-edge vessel sets sail without crew, pioneering future of maritime industry

Andreas Karamitas

South Korea's strides in maritime technology are showcased with the development of a groundbreaking container ship capable of autonomous navigation, marking a significant leap forward in the industry.  The project, initiated four years ago and supported by a government grant of approximately USD 120 million, represents a significant milestone in autonomous shipping.

The vessel, named Pos Singapore, was unveiled at a naming ceremony held at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsa. Commissioned by Pan Ocean in 2022, the ship boasts a length of 172 meters and a capacity of 1,800 TEUs. Registered with the Liberian registry, it is set for operational delivery by the end of March, when its autonomous capabilities will be activated.

According to a press release from the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the vessel has been meticulously designed to meet the International Maritime Organization's criteria for autonomous navigation, allowing it to operate autonomously while being remotely regulated. The vessel is slated to commence its first international demonstrations in September 2024.

However, experts caution that full automation remains a distant prospect. In the interim, human crews will collaborate with machinery and software to ensure safe and efficient shipping operations.

While trials of autonomous vessels are underway, it is anticipated to be another five years before systematic unmanned sailing becomes a reality. Additionally, the establishment of a regulatory and legislative framework for autonomous navigation is deemed essential before widespread adoption can occur.


[This article was translated from its Greek original and edited for clarity and brevity]

Cyprus  |  shipping  |  World  |  South Korea

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