Luxury bets on cargo ship transportation

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto16 août 2022

Still little known, maritime transport by cargo ship is emerging in the luxury industry. It is becoming a more eco-responsible and a better-profiled alternative solution in times of energy shortage.

Cargo ships represent an eco-responsible form of maritime transport, which is gradually being adopted by luxury brands (Grain de Sail)

Three percent of global CO2 emissions: that is the percentage represented by maritime transport. This figure could probably double or triple over the next decade. To reduce it, it is therefore urgent to imagine a more eco-compatible maritime transport. This is the challenge taken up by various shipping companies who have bet on the transport of goods by cargo ships.



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The world of luxury goods, now a pioneer in innovative solutions in favor of the environment and ever more attentive to the ecological stakes of commercial activities, is watching this sector with attention; several brands have already taken the leap.

High-end wine and spirit brands take the leap

In a press release, Hennessy cognac, the world leader in the spirits sector, committed more than a year ago to using cargo ships, built by a shipowner from Nantes, Neoline, to transport a large percentage of its bottles to the United States.

As of 2024, Neoline ships will provide two departures per month on the North Atlantic route, serving the ports of Halifax, Baltimore and the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The high-end sailboat manufacturer Béneteau and the car manufacturer Renault have already signed letters of interest to support the initiative. Other luxury brands are taking the plunge, especially in the field of spirits.

Grain de Sail was the first company to invest in cargo ship projects (Grain de Sail)

Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, the cognac and prestige champagne subsidiary of the Pernod-Ricard group, announced at the end of July its collaboration with the company Transoceanic Wind Transport (TOWT). This French shipping company, which was set up in 2009 and is based in Finistère, has scheduled the first exports of champagnes and cognacs on board its cargo ship from next year.

TOWT, which today is investing in the construction of four high-tech sailing cargo ships, each with a capacity of more than 1,000 tons, has also been chosen by the champagne house Drappier, already well known for its environmental commitment. Since 2016 this producer has indeed become the first estate in Champagne to be certified carbon neutral, thanks to its investment in 2,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels that guarantee 75% of its energy consumption and power its production line.

When we talk about cargo ships, we can talk about retro-innovation

Stefan Gallard, marketing director of the Breton company Grain de Sail

The environmental impact of maritime transport is often underestimated. Indeed, on a global scale, measures to counter pollution and the heavy carbon footprint of this mode of transportation were only taken in 2019, well after the 2016 Paris agreements, which already provided for the carbon neutrality of several transport sectors. The goal is now to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping by 40% by 2030.

To achieve this goal, the technological evolution of cargo ships is seen as a key solution.

Several shipbuilders are innovating in the transoceanic sailing cargo ship segment

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