proof of concept
“Ten years ago, everybody thought it was crazy to transport goods in sailing ships. Now it is a rising trend, for companies, to watch their entire production chain for sustainability. Soon, customers will demand clean transport…”
From the late 1970’s, until the first years of the 21st century, the then famous, Captain Paul Wahlen was running the sail cargo schooner Avontuur. In these days he was the last operator of a sail cargo line in the Caribbean. In the European waters there was still another sail cargo operation, with the North Sea klipper Albatros, and Captain Ton Brouwer as her master. At that moment, these two companies must have been the last, in the Northern hemisphere, to make use of the wind for shipping. A few years later the times would be changing. The concept would make a return, because of sustainability becoming mainstream, the introduction of online media and a general longing for real experience.
In 2006 Avontuur and Albatros, had stopped operating with cargo. Now a new (old) sailing vessel, the Kwai, was taken into commission, trading between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. Shortly after, another new sail cargo company was launched: Fairtransport with the now, unofficial ambassador of sail cargo: Tres Hombres. A few years later, the oldest cargo ship in the world: Nordlys joined Tres Hombres to carry cargo under sail. From this point on, the sail cargo industry seemed to be really taking off again. With the launch of the beautiful lugger Grayhound, the return of the schooner Avontuur. And the transition of the Lune II and Gallant, from passenger to sail cargo ships.
As you read this, there are many sail cargo ship projects underway. The concept has proven itself in the 21st century. Recently the two first industry lobbies where established; the International Wind Ship Association (IWSA) and the Sail Cargo Alliance (SCA). We can speak of the emergence of a real new industry. EcoClipper, with her experienced team, will be the organization to scale up the successes of the current sail cargo companies, to launch a fleet of newbuilt large scale sail cargo vessels, and sustainably connect all continents of the world.