If a 20,000 TEU containership has a 20 man crew, that’s 1000 TEU per man.
Let’s assume the ship makes one voyage per month.
If the average cost of foreign crew is $1000 per month, and there are 20 men moving 20,000 containers, the crew cost is $1 per TEU. In other words, the crew costs almost nothing.
A figure frequently mentioned for US longshoremen costs is $100 per move. The way the Longshoremen operated the typical container is going to be moved at least three times before it leaves the port, costing $300. Let’s say half of the $300, or $150 is labor.
That’s $150 in transportation cost for Longshoremen vs. $1 for Foreign Mariners.
Why are we wasting time and money to create autonomous ships to save $1 when an autonomous dock would save $150. Plus, the near autonomous dock has been done. Rotterdam already has nearly autonomous container handling.
I don’t see how this expensive autonomous equipment can be installed and maintained on a ship for less than $1 per TEU.
Creating an autonomous ship to avoid crew costs is wasting money to solve a nonexistent cost issue.
Money would be much better spent on existing and proven technology for autonomous container docks.