Digitalising the maritime sector to enhance maritime safety and protect people's health by decreasing port traffic, associated costs and GHG emissions

Project news

30 partners from 11 countries (Denmark, Spain, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK) have met in Copenhagen on 18 and 19 January to kick off the MISSION project, an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the shipping industry. The MISSION project will fully digitalise the voyage and port call optimization system to reduce the waiting time of cargos, increase safety of the maritime sector, and reduce the environmental impacts in ports.

Photo: SDU

According to the European Commission, the shipping industry globally accounts for 3% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. This industry is facing a challenge where ships are speeding towards their destination, only to arrive at a crowded port and receive instructions to either wait outside the harbour or anchor until port services and a berth are available. According to a report from the International Maritime Organization, ships may spend 5-10% of their time waiting to enter a port.

The project's outcome will not just be a new software system for the shipping industry, but rather the integration of existing systems so they can communicate with each other. With this, researchers expect that fuel consumption will be reduced by up to 23% on the overall voyage and port call including the shore side. MISSION will further bridge the gap between academia, research organisations, and the maritime industry.

On the importance of port call optimization, Research Leader Julia Pahl, Associate Professor at The Faculty of Engineering, University of Southern Denmark, said:

"In essence, it's about communication. The ship needs to know when the port is ready, and the port needs to know when the ship is arriving, [...] and that may sound simple, but it's not."

"There are a lot more parties involved than one might think, and they rarely use the same systems and are only sometimes in agreement on terminology. Take a term like ETA or estimated time of arrival. Does it mean arrival outside the harbor entrance, at the terminals, or elsewhere? Standards are available, but not used by all."

Media contact

Aleksandra Starčević, project manager
email: [email protected]


Mission project kickoff logos
Jukka Sassi
Jukka Sassi
Teemu Manderbacka
Teemu Manderbacka
Research Team Leader