Plain text version (online version unavailable):
An ambitious plan has been launched by the Dutch company Atlantis Zeilende Handelsvaart (Atlantis Merchant Sailing Company) to introduce fair transportation as a fair trade alternative to shipping.
The company hopes to be able to provide a fully sustainable means of transporting freight around the world, including ship construction, chartering, management, crewing and financing.
The vision would be brought about through a fleet of Ecoliners, sailing ships which have been specially built or modified to carry commonly used freight containers.
The company is currently in negotiations to buy the first of these, a 3000MT Reefer vessel. However it already has a sixty year old brigantine, Tres Hombres, which is completing a pilot voyage.
This vessel was donated to the project by a navel museum in Den Helder, the Netherlands, and restored to full working capacity by a team of fifty volunteers from twelve countries.
It recently completed an aid mission to Haiti and is returning to Europe with a cargo of locally produced rum. All energy on the ship comes from onboard wind turbines and recycled vegetable oil.
The venture is part of a growing green logistics trend to ship goods by sail in order to reduce the emissions and costs of international freight.