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 best in classknow-how to build the most efficient cargo sailboats in the world 100% operated by sail.

Our approach to decarbonization goes beyond the port-to-port route and we think 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 are building a training curriculum with MerConcept under the direction of François Gabart.

Who is François Gabart ?

Professional skipper and committed entrepreneur, François Gabart revealed himself to the public by winning the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe when he was only 29 years old. He confirmed his talent by winning many legendary races such as the Route du Rhum (2014), the Transat Jacques Vabre (2015), The Transat (2016).

In 2017, François Gabart made history by breaking the solo world record sailing around the world (Saint Exupéry Trophy) in 42d 16h 40min 35s. 2020 marks a turning point for the skipper with the withdrawal of a major sponsor.

In May 2021, the French cosmetics group KRESK, led by Didier Tabary, decided to get onboard alongside François Gabart, skipper of his new trimaran SVR-Lazartigue. François and his sponsor Kresk are also working alongside to protect the oceans through the KRESK4OCEANS endowment fund.

The sailor-entrepreneur takes to the sea again aboard his SVR-Lazartigue trimaran in November 2021 and takes 2nd place in the Transat Jacques Vabre (Ultim category). In 2022, with his crew, he set the record for the Mediterranean crossing (13h 55 minutes and 37 seconds) as well as a second place in the mythical Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

François Gabart is also a committed entrepreneur.  MerConcept (founded by François in 2006 and ”entreprise à mission since 2020) and its 70 employees are imagining and designing high-performance boats and working to ensure that innovation and high technology play a role in reducing the environmental impact of maritime mobility.