30. June 2018

Focus on low carbon and fair transport

Wind in the SAIL project – partners met in the spring 2018 to discuss and develop ideas that will create new possibilities within the project. The result was a new calculation tool, that will make sail cargo transport more accessible.  

Routes by sail are often long and takes more time than direct transport by lorry or plane, so even though transport by sail has close to zero emissions, it is not very competitive. However, a meeting set at the Port of Oostende in Belgium, between partners of DUAL Ports and the Sail Cargo Alliance may have taken new steps to realise the Sail Cargo Network – a DUAL Ports pilot that will facilitate cooperation between cargo owners, ship owners and ports.

Finding the edge

Transport by sail is dependent on wind, which makes routes in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea optimal for sail cargo, due to the short distances and preferable wind conditions. A sailing ship will be able to carry the load equivalent to two lorries and will under these conditions become very competitive.

Therefore, a calculation tool has been developed, that will make it possible for cargo owners and ship owners to calculate the cost for transport. The tool takes different factors into consideration – i.e. weather conditions, passengers, tons of cargo, the price for pilotage and other costs. This will help ship owners to present and negotiate a transparent price to the cargo owners.

During the course of the workshop, this tool was implemented in an online version, that will in the end be able to make it possible for cargo owners and ship owners to find each other and negotiate a price from the calculation.

The first edition will be shown as part of an artistic exhibition at Time’s Up in Malta – a futuristic exhibition, showing how people will likely interact in the future.

“This will give an idea of how the tool will look. We will develop the backend, and in the end, this tool will be able to show where a certain ship is, how much cargo it carries and when it will reach its destination, counting in routes and weather conditions. Cargo owners will then be able to calculate approximate prices and contact the ship owner”, says Madadh MacLaine, founder and CEO of the Fair Winds Trust.

In order to develop and launch the tool, Madadh MacLaine hopes for an extension of the DUAL Ports project, in order to have a test run for two years. If successful, this tool will become a legacy of the project, that will

The workshop was followed by a joint dinner, hosted by the Sail Cargo Alliance, where products already being shipped by sail were presented. The guests had the opportunity to taste different wines, rum, coffee and olive oils shipped by sail from Porto, Portugal.

The Sail Cargo Network is thought as a natural choice for manufacturers and consumers, who wish to use a sustainable supply chain from production to end consumer.

The Sail Cargo Alliance

The Sail Cargo Alliance is a group of shipowners and cargo owners that join together to promote and enhance transport by sail.

“An alliance of organisations who share a passion for sail-shipped cargo, working together with shared ethics to create a healthy transport culture that promotes the preservation of the environment for future generations.” – www.sailcargoalliance.org

The DUAL Ports project

DUAL Ports is an Interreg North Sea Region project, 50% co-funded by the European Regional Developmental Fund. DUAL Ports consists of 8 different pilot projects that all aim to develop methods and technologies that will make regional entrepreneurial ports more sustainable, and more competitive – www.dualports.eu

The Fair Winds Trust

The Fair Winds Trust is pilot leader of the SAIL pilot in DUAL Ports. The SAIL pilot aims to create a Sail Cargo Network that will connect ship owners, cargo owners and ports, to facilitate the opportunities for sail cargo transport – www.dualports.eu/sail and www.fairwindstradingcompany.org