Grain de Sail launches low-carbon maritime logistics


Two years after launching the world’s first modern cargo sailboat, the French company Grain de Sail is responding to the strong demand for low-carbon maritime transport by launching a complete sailing freight offer.

Courtesy of Grain de voile

This is the first step in anticipation of the delivery of the second cargo sailboat, the Grain de Sail 2, which should significantly increase transport volume capacities and departure frequencies.

As a reminder, in February this year, the company ordered another wind-powered freighter, expanding its carbon-free shipping fleet.

As explained, the latest move marks a notable development for the company as it opens its cargo hold to external customers. From the start, the company only transported for its own needs and had integrated maritime logistics with the land-based production of coffees and chocolates.

Since the maiden voyage of its first cargo sailboat in November 2020, the French company said it has received many calls from other companies wishing to use its vessel. A first successful test in the spring of 2022 with three customers in the wine sector confirmed Grain de Sail’s new approach.

The new offering will officially launch in November 2022 to coincide with the next scheduled departure.

The 24-meter schooner is capable of carrying up to 50 tons of cargo. This first cargo ship has already crossed the Atlantic eight times in the past two years (a total distance equivalent to two circumnavigations) and has transported and delivered more than 250 tonnes on both sides of the Atlantic.

The solution for carbon-free sea freight

Grain de Sail said they have gained significant experience in managing the complexities of maritime logistics and in doing so have created a sustainable full-service solution. Compliant with the merchant navy, the cargo sailboat meets the highest international standards (SOLAS, STCW, MARPOL, MLC, ColReg; ISPS and RIF registration).

Grain de Sail cruises on average at cruising speeds of between 7 and 8 knots and is capable of loading and unloading in all sizes of commercial ports.

This mode of transport also considerably reduces carbon emissionss (up to 97% according to ADEME calculation tables) in addition to greatly reducing NOx, VOx, SOx, underwater noise pollution and whale impacts.

Grain de Sail now allows its customers to load freight aboard its first cargo ship capable of carrying up to 50 tonnes and making two transatlantic round trips per year. The fleet will soon expand as the next cargo sailboat, Grain de Sail 2 is currently under construction and scheduled for delivery at the end of 2023.

This new vessel will increase Grain de Sail’s loading volumes sevenfold (350 tons or 240 pallets) and generate more frequency with at least three transatlantic round trips scheduled per year. When the Grain de Sail 2 is operational, it is expected that the first cargo ship in the fleet will be assigned to European coastal navigation along the Atlantic seaboard.

“This is an expected and logical development for Grain de Sail. We are happy to launch this new service now and to make cargo navigation more widely available. Our services will continue to expand, especially with the arrival of our next larger vessel. For now, this is an opportunity to work on a small scale with partners who have a long-term approach,” Matthew RiouExport Director of Grain de Sail, commented.

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