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Kotug International establishes an inland shipping division


CityBarge One pusher tug and barge are operating in Leiden (source: Kotug)

Kotug International has established an inland shipping division combining electric-powered pusher tugs and smart dispatch and route planning applications for the inland water transportation industry. With these logistics solutions, KOTUG aims to support the worldwide energy transition and the modal shift from road transport to waterways while meeting the growing demand for electric-powered vessels

The set-up of the inland shipping activities results from developing a range of modular and scalable electric pusher tugs, the E-Pusher™ Series, powered by swappable energy containers. The E-Pusher™ Series currently has three models ranging from 5,5 to 22 meters in length and a maximum depth of 0,45 to 1,35 meters resulting in a draft that is 30% less than conventional pusher tug designs.

Due to the modular approach and lean assembly method, KOTUG reduced the construction time by more than 25% compared to traditional vessels. Together with her partners, KOTUG developed various energy containers ranging from Stage V diesel, (Bio)gas and Hydrogen to battery solutions.

Due to the modular approach and lean assembly method, KOTUG reduced the construction time by more than 25% compared to traditional vessels. Together with her partners, KOTUG developed various energy containers ranging from Stage V diesel, (Bio)gas and Hydrogen to battery solutions.

For smart operations KOTUG will use OptiPort, its advanced dispatching, route and reporting tool. KOTUG OptiPort is an automated dispatching system based on historical and real-time information bridging port and terminal information with ship operations. The tool supports fleet owners in optimizing expected departure- and arrival times, routing and speed control, leading to reduced energy usage and just-in-time departure and arrival.  The system is active since 2017 and is currently in use by vessel operators in Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands.

With KOTUG CityBarge B.V., KOTUG recently started activities in the municipality of Leiden with a 5,5 meter E-Pusher™ providing a zero-emission alternative for heavy truck transport in inner-cities. KOTUG CityBarge BV. is a partnership of KOTUG with Circle Line Logistics B.V., aiming to make cities more liveable by restoring existing inner-city waterways by using them to transport garbage, construction materials and retail products.

Details of dimensions and design for Kotug’s E-Pusher range (source: Kotug)

« The inland shipping market offers a great opportunity for sustainable logistical solutions », says Ard-Jan Kooren, Ceoof KOTUG International B.V.  « As an innovative company we have created ready-to-market products for the inland shipping industry by combining our technical expertise of ship design and digitization of the marine industry. The start with activities for the inland shipping market is a natural development and a step forward in our ambition to be part of the solution of the transition towards a zero-emission maritime industry. »

Regional Inland Shipping Minister, Jeannette Baljeu: ”The Province of South Holland is involved since the start of the project around reinstating waterways as a means of transport, with the development of the CityBarge (the smallest version of the e-Pusher). Clean transport is one of our priorities. By bringing together business and government to solve mutual challenges, solutions like the E-Pusher™ are no longer just paper ideas but market-ready products. I strongly believe in the E-Pusher™ concept;  it improves the liveability in cities and boosts the growth of tech industries in the Province of South Holland and beyond.“


The E-Pusher tug design in action
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