A Green UK Company Is Reviving Traditional Shipping Using Vintage Sailboats

There are many routes that lead to cleaner maritime transportation, and one of them is harnessing what some consider “the purest source of energy,” wind power. While large-scale shipping is working on integrating modern sailing systems onto conventional cargo ships, the smaller shipping companies can take advantage of traditional sailboats.
Klevia is a 1936 sailboat that will be used for green transportation 6 photos
Traditional Sailing1936 Klevia Sailboat1936 Klevia Sailboat1936 Klevia Sailboat1936 Klevia Sailboat
The art of sailing brings to mind old stories of pirates and their infamous bottles of rum. Well, around ten years ago, the first rum barrel to be sail-shipped to British land in over 100 years safely arrived in Falmouth, from the Dominican Republic. It was the achievement of New Dawn Traders, a young company that has been supporting fair trade by sail ever since.

The company’s founder is Alex Geldenhuys, a chef turned entrepreneur, who has successfully proved that now is the time to revive the lost art of traditional shipping. This can become a great green alternative for niche sectors, with a smaller cargo volume.

Today’s conventional cargo ships are known for not only being responsible for a significant percentage of the global pollution, but also for operating on what is considered “the dirtiest fuel,” or “bunker oil,” according to Cornwall Live. While numerous operators are making efforts to switch to alternative fuels for these giant tankers, smaller businesses can skip fuel altogether and opt for sailing boats instead.

Not just any sailboats, but historic ones. For example, the company’s latest shipping is carried out by Klevia, a 1936 ketch built in Denmark. New Dawn Traders is working with several classic wooden vessels that are powered exclusively by wind. This is part of a “Voyage Co-op” where ships, producers, and buyers, can work together for zero-emission shipping. The types of goods that can be efficiently transported this way are olive oil, rum, wine, coffee, and chocolate.

New Dawn Traders is not the only company of its kind, and the traditional shipping phenomenon is starting to rise, at least in Europe. After a decade, this UK-based pioneer isn’t slowing down one bit. In fact, it plans to soon have its own sailing vessel and to increase the cargo capacity from 70.5 tons to over 130 tons.


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