The main objective of AEGIS is to develop a new waterborne transport system for Europe that leverages the benefits of ships and barges while overcoming the conventional problems like dependence on terminals, high transhipment costs, low speed and frequency and low automation in information processing. AEGIS intends to use new innovations from the area of connected and automated transport, including smaller and more flexible vessel types, automated cargo handling, autonomous ships, new cargo units and new digital technologies to regain the position that waterborne traditionally had in cargo transport. Ships are most efficient when the cargo holds are full. AEGIS will look for ways to attract new cargo, inbound as outbound, to waterborne transport. This requires new types of services, new business models and better logistics systems.

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