Telehandler and aerial lift manufacturer Manitou has formed a partnership with Ro-Ro shipping line Neoline with the aim to move to more environmentally friendly forms of transport, including sail powered ships, as part of its ‘Ecological Transition’ strategy.
The two companies first began working together in 2017 with the formal partnership contract now involving the transport of all aerial work platforms and telehandlers manufactured by Manitou in France via a primarily wind powered cargo ship. The products will be loaded at the port of Saint Nazaire and largely destined for Baltimore, Maryland.
Manitou exports around 1,000 machines to the US each year, although it will only be able to send 40 units on the latest sailing ship, which is said to offer a 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with a traditional cargo ship.
Neoline’ first wind powered ship, due to go into service in the coming months, will be 136 metres long with a sail surface of 4,200 square metres. It will follow a transatlantic route between St-Nazaire, Baltimore, Halifax, and St-Pierre & Miquelon. A second ship with similar specifications will follow soon after, with the aim to provide departures every two weeks.
Manitou’s director of logistics and projects Augustin Merle said: “We are proud to sign this contract with Neoline. It is an important step in moving this project forward. By engaging with a local partner, we are not only strengthening our regional position, but we are also going to reduce our transport carbon footprint, while guaranteeing reliability of service for our customers in the United States and Canada.”
Neloine Development president Jean Zanuttini added: “This contract, Manitou demonstrates its resolute commitment to the energy transition of its supply chain and thereby gains access to a new generation of maritime transport designed to reduce environmental impact as much as possible while fully meeting its logistics needs.”