A four year research project aims to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the container fleet of shipping company Maersk Line through the development of intelligent IT based planning tools, writes NewsMarket.
The Energy Efficient Transport Planning (ENERPLAN) project has gained DKK 7m (USD 1.2m) in funding from the Danish Council for Strategic Research, and will be carried out by the Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at the University of Copenhagen, the IT University of Copenhagen and staff from Maersk/Network Advanced solutions.
ENERPLAN includes the development of planning and optimisation of the global container route network so that the coefficient of utilisation can be significantly improved, the development of complex algorithms to fill containers and pack vessels more efficiently, the handling of ships in ports, and improved exploitation of the fleet.
Professor David Pisinger of DIKU, who heads the project, says: "The aim of the project is to reset the limits for what optimisation can achieve. It is highly complex because we work with many factors, which each can help create results. This especially applies to planning of the route network, which in itself can create savings of 1-2%. But we hope to achieve significantly more. It does perhaps not sound so much, but a reduction of 1% of Maersk's total energy consumption by optimising the routes will, according to my calculations, correspond to the CO2 emissions from a provincial town of 50,000 people or a 57 km long line of oil tanker trucks."
In addition to energy and CO2 reduction, the ENERPLAN project is expected to produce a number of important synergy effects, which can benefit Danish research and the global environment.