Decarbonising logistics: Michelin setting sail with Neoline
The notion of harnessing the wind to carry cargoes across the oceans is finding renewed favour, and the Michelin Group hopes this mode of shipping will offer plain sailing towards minimal CO2 emissions. The company recently signed a transport commitment with French sustainable shipping firm Neoline that will see its tyres shipped by sail from Halifax, Canada to Saint-Nazaire, France.
Neoline’s decarbonised shipping service relies on wind energy as the main propulsion for its 136 metre long cargo ships, with each vessel equipped with 4,200 square metres of sails. The firm believes its ships will reduce CO2 emissions related to transatlantic maritime freight transport by 90 per cent.
Jean Zanuttini, president of Neoline, shares that the company is “currently working” with its partners on the “different options available” to start the construction of its first vessel. The initial Neoline ship is expected to begin plying the transatlantic route in 2023, with a second vessel arriving a year later. Michelin will gradually entrust Neoline with at least 50 per cent of the group’s containers transported on this line.
15% cut in CO2 from logistics
“This initiative and this new partnership promote innovation in the field of carbon-free transport. This first step in carbon-free shipping is fully in line with the CSR strategy of Michelin’s operations. It will contribute to achieving the objective of reducing CO2 emissions from logistics by 15 per cent in absolute terms between 2018 and 2030,” comments Pierre-Martin Huet, Michelin Group supply chain director.
Jean Zanuttini adds: “We are honoured to welcome on board the Michelin Group, an emblematic French player strongly committed to innovation and sustainable mobility. This first commitment concerns eastbound flow (from the Americas to Europe) and comes in addition to an already well-filled order book in westbound direction (from Europe to the Americas). With our sailing cargo ships, we are developing a mode of transport that is more environmentally friendly, adapted to the current economic and logistical reality of shippers and not dependent on fossil fuels.”