The return of sailing for goods: coffee, oil and wine

sent by sail

With a mandatory electric motor for maneuvering in port and useful in emergencies, sailing would be an excellent alternative, albeit not a substitute, for zero-emission freight transport over long distances and further afield. There are already specialized operators in the world, as a recent green article from Bloomberg tells us. But there is also an Italian project. It is taking shape in Trapani and these days it has reached some interesting milestones.

The interesting aspect of the phenomenon that affects a group of European roasters is the added value provided by zero emission logistics. The coffee beans there they travel without using fuel they have a higher cost but there are those who are willing to spend a few euros morenot even a few, for sustainable transport.

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A cargo handled by Shipped by Sail specializing in the transport of goods under sail

A process that could extend to the entire food chain with a certification linked to the use of sustainable vehicles. An added value, though still little recognized by producers and distributors.

The zero-emission journey from Colombia

How does it work? As centuries ago, but with a strong focus also on social sustainability: you buy the raw material directly from growers from countries such as Colombiathe goods are stored and then loaded on a sailboat that sails to different ports: Le Havre, France or Penzance, England. Sea crossing requires six weeks.

Bloomberg interviewed a coffee roastery from Cornwall. Called Richard Blakefounder of Yallah coffeewho declared: “You are almost a step away from growing coffee in Colombia. I am selling a 1 pound bag of Las Brisass beans for $ 62 but with a carbon footprint close to zero“.

Quite expensive compared to what you buy at the supermarket where it does not reach 20 dollars. The difference is there, but Blake reports customer satisfaction: They are happy to pay for a premium product if they feel that there is value in every step“.

Extra virgin olive oil with Shipped by Saile wine with TransOceanic Wind Transport

British entrepreneurs have been active for several years Shipped with Sail in the UK who have chosen to use old wooden splinters to show that certain goods can be transported with almost zero emissions.

In a recent post on Facebook, they announce that they have found a new coffee supplier and that they can also serve other products: “Our long-awaited 5 liter container of Nordouro Extra Virgin Olive Oil will be available very soonIn addition to oil, wine is transported by sail.

In another post, they emphasize how compared to mega ships there is no negative impact on the marine fauna. Contrary to what happens with mega-container ships. Whales, dolphins and many hundreds of other marine creatures are heavily dependent on frequencies for communication and navigation, t. the sounds generated by mega-ships damage their essential acoustic capabilitiesThere is a lot of talk about vegan food, but little is reflected and known about these phenomena.

To meet the demand a 1100 ton sailboat

TransOceanic Wind Transport

Belco a French importer of sustainable coffee, serves as many as 1,000 specialist roasteries across Europe, bought 22 tons of Colombian coffee came with sails. Customers have responded so well that they now plan to import at least half of their total coffee beans – about 4,000 tons – on a sailboat 2025.

The French take care of the expeditions for Belco TransOceanic Wind Transport, a sailing freight company. To meet the growing demands from customers like Belco, TOWT is building a sailing ship be able to contain 1,100 tons of goods. The launch is scheduled for June next year and three other vessels should follow 2026.

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TransOceanic Wind Transport also transports wine

Another company is there SailCargo of Costa Rica transporting the beans to Serge Picardthe owner of Café William Spartivento, Canada’s largest organic fair trade coffee roastery. Cafe Williams said they have invested in a new SailCargo vessel that it will carry 250 tons of goods.

Sustainable agriculture also in logistics

The two authors of the article – Irina Anghel and Eamon Akil Farhat – remind of the ecological development in agriculture: less chemicals in the field and self-produced energy on the farm; but logistics is still a weak point. We need a certification, as we have already written (laws).

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Salt is also transported

The primary sector throughout its supply chain can help reduce the negative impact on the atmosphere by also transforming logistics in a sustainable way. Without forgetting spillage of hydrocarbons in water. Sailboats are not enough given the global explosion of consumption, but they can be a means of cultural transformation to make maritime transport less influential. This is the challenge.

ALSO READ: OceanBird sailing cargo, Atlantic in 12 days with zero emissions

Brigantes is also found in Italy

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A new image of Brigantes is now almost ready for navigation

In Italy, the sail is called goods Brigantes (read here) which after a long journey should be ready for launch. We wrote about it in 2018 and they themselves admit that they spent a lot of time.

So they write on Facebook that they “completed the conversion and has received certification as the first RINA sailing cargo ship for today’s economy in ecological transitionWe’re almost there, we’ll write more about it soon.

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