Wine Delivered By Sailing Boat

French company Compagnie de Transport Maritime a la Voile (CTMV) has chartered a hundred year old three-mast ship to make eco-friendly wine deliveries, with an estimated saving of 139 grams of carbon per delivery. The company has plans for expansion with a second ship to take wine from Bordeaux to Bristol and a third taking a route to London. The company also plans a 30 day trip to take wine to Canada.
Currently shipments are being made on ships chartered by the company but soon construction will begin on a fleet of seven custom built schooners. The eco-friendly fleet has been certified by ECOCERT as the first European merchant sailing fleet to provide sustainable transportation. Even before reaching their departure port the wine is moved in a more environmentally friendly manner using canal barge. Canal barges create five times fewer emissions than road transport for transporting an equivalent weight. Currently the barges return empty, but soon they will be filled with class for recycling into bottles.
With fuel prices continuing to rise and ever growing concerns over global warming and carbon emissions, could sail make a comeback as a mainstream shipping method. Currently sail power accounts for just half a percent of the transport market with the majority of it being in pleasure craft rather than freight. Wine growers have certainly shown an interest in sustainable transportation with 80 vineyards in France already signed up to the project and a further 250 having expressed an interest. Good marketing also helps with each of the bottles labeled as delivered by sail.
The traditional shipping industry is also looking at methods of cutting fuel consumption. One method currently under trial is the sky sail, a giant towing kite the largest of which measure 320 meters square. These giant kites are only useable when the wind is strong enough and in the right direction but can save up to 30 percent on fuel costs.
With shipping accounting for an estimated 3% of global carbon emissions, and fuel prices growing dramatically it will be interesting to see if the future of shipping is a return to the techniques of the past.

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About The Author, Martha Franklin
The authors interests include the global environment and Italian white wines