Le transport de marchandises à la voile

Le transport de marchandises à la voile


Now we are going to focus on somebody who has had a good idea. He is interested in shipping goods, and he has been thinking of how to cover long distances, without emitting CO2. This young man is Breton and he has a good idea. Isabelle Bouloc has met him.. Just a few days ago, the “Tres Hombres”, this 35-meter two-masted ship, has called in Brest. This sailing ship has been crossing the ocean for 3 years, carrying organic and fair-traded goods. A new ecological form of shipping – on a small scale – but which Guillaume Le Grand wants to develop. “It is a way of shipping cargo that reduces maritime carbon footprints by 90%. The “Tres Hombres” exports wine, olive oil from Europe to the Caribbean and to the US, and she comes back from Caribbean with products such as coffee, cocoa… which are sold in the UK, in the Netherlands and in France, after her 9-month crossing around the Atlantic.” Guillaume Le Grand has thus made a partnership with a Dutch captain, who shares the same ecological vision. “I grew up in a family of ship owners, and I have seen how much carbon emissions motor ships made. And I have thought that there must be ways to do shipping with a sailing vessel in a much cleaner way. The very special thing about this ship is that she does not even have an auxiliary engine. This ship is the only one in the world to cross the oceans by sail only.” “The aim is to develop this form of shipping, which has started with the “Tres Hombres”, with other ships. and utilise the exisiting sailing fleet, give the value of “work” to ships that, sometimes despite themselves, become floting museums. There is a real ambition of opening a niche-market of products labelled as “shipped by sail-power”. In order to, in the future, by 2017, build an eco-liner which would be much larger.” A type of cargo sailing ship more efficient but which, like the “Tres Hombres”, will have to make up with delivery times. “It depends, of course, on the wind. The last crossing we did from America to Europe took us about 45 days. But the one we did before took us only 33 days.” “The training dimension is also extremely important; especially when the old sailors disappear with their knowledge, while this is becoming increasingly strategic. So there are about 10 crew, who are volunteers, and who work on the ship for 9 months. So that is how it works: they learn a lot, they aquire a lot of knowledge, and live an exceptional human experience. And that is how this project is viable today.” Next port of call, Porto, after a week at sea, then, among other, the Canary Islands, Cabo Verde, Grenada, New York City, Oostende… …then back to the Netherlands. All the distances covered with one energy only: the wind…

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