Renault to bring back cargo sailing ships

Renault to bring back cargo sailing ships

Groupe Renault has announced the signing of a 3-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain while nearly 60% of the group’s parts and vehicles are transported by sea.

Vice President Strategic Environmental Planning at Groupe Renault Jean-Philippe Hermine said: “Groupe Renault’s objective is to reduce the environmental impact of each vehicle throughout its entire life cycle, from parts transportation up to delivery and end-of-life processing. In the context of our strategy to explore new sustainable mobility solutions and to continue along the road to reducing our carbon footprint, the ship designed by NEOLINE, which combines energy efficiency and operational relevance, has truly captured our attention”.

Alliance global director production control Jean-François Salles added: “The partnership with NEOLINE is the latest example of our supply chain’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint by 6% between 2016 and 2022. For nearly 10 years, we have been working to identify the most environmentally sustainable solutions: for example, optimising the fill rates of the containers and trucks, producing eco-friendly packaging, and implementing a multimodal system. We are also developing more initiatives, such as the use of natural gas transportation between parts suppliers and production sites, the evaluation of transporters’ environmental performance, the modernisation of truck fleets, and of course the optimisation of our flows to reduce the number of kilometres travelled and to eliminate empty trips.”

CEO of NEOLINE Jean Zanuttini said: “We are especially pleased that Groupe Renault, a key player in accessible and sustainable mobility for all, is the first partner to join us on board our journey by trusting in NEOLINE’s maritime transport research. Considering that the traditional sea freight accounts for nearly 3% of CO2 emissions in Europe, NEOLINE aims to build an innovative French way to address a global environmental challenge while remaining within an industrial and competitive framework, with the support from its partners.”

To create a maritime transport capable of meeting the environmental challenges of our time, NEOLINE is developing its industrial-scale wind-powered freight services that are cleaner, customised and competitive, in response to the logistical needs of shippers. Led by a team of maritime professionals, this shipowner project has culminated in the design of a commercial demo with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimised energy mix, compared to a traditional cargo ship on an equivalent route. The demo, a 136-meter RO-RO ship and 4,200 square metres of sail area, features an innovative blend of technical innovations borrowed from the maritime transport industry, as well as from competitive sailing, in order to make transport more logistically and economically proficient, while also setting the bar for energy efficiency.

The objective is to build two ships based on this model and to commission the vessels by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, the U.S. Eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.

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