Why pallets and not a container?

Containers have been ruling goods transportation over the last 50 years.This choice was made for economic reasons but with a high environmental impact, just like air freight.

  • #IMPACT: the weight of the containers (3 tons each) accounts for more than 20% of what is being transported on a conventional container ship vs. 2% for equivalent pallets (25kg each). Using pallets enables the  transport of goods alone, without useless extra weight. Each pallet represents a reduction of 200kg in weight and the corresponding CO2 emissions.
  • #STANDARD: we transport your goods in the same way they were initially prepared at your  warehouse in French or US formats.
  • #AGILE: You only pay for the goods we transport for you. There are no consolidation fees to compensate empty container management.
  • #OPTIMISED: using pallets enables a vessel’s hold to be fully optimised and thus transport more goods than with containers.

What if there is no wind? Would transport be slower? Less reliable?

We use very advanced weather routing techniques to define the optimal trajectory for each crossing. This allows us to avoid windless areas and areas where the wind is too strong.

These innovative cargo ships coupled with this routing allow us to be faster than conventional container ships (unloading included) on the Bayonne-New York route

Is sailing more expensive than conventional freight?

It depends on the types of products and the palletizing plan.

We are up to 5 times cheaper than air travel.

For example, for a bottle of mid-range spirits, the additional cost represents a few tens of cents, compared to conventional sea freight.

At VELA, we practice “fair” prices for sustainable and socially responsible transport.

What makes you unique at VELA?

We use all our know-how to build the most efficient cargo sailboats in the world 100% under sail.

Our approach to decarbonization goes beyond the port-to-port route and we reason from warehouse to warehouse as much as possible to massively reduce the CO2 impact.

Are commercial sailors well trained for sailing?

No, the merchant navy does not train sailors to sail on cargo ships. When the boats are propelled by sails it is essential to provide additional training. To date, there is no merchant sailing school to carry out this training. At VELA, we will train our sailors in partnership with MerConcept under the direction of François Gabart.