The future of wind powered container shipping

Veer is on a voyage to show what can be done with 100% wind power

We aim to have the largest clean container fleet in the world!


This is not the latest slick decarbonisation claim from AP Moller Maersk, CMA CGM or any of the liner giants, although they probably have made some clams like this, but of Canadian Danielle Doggett who has launched Veer, a new kind of shipping company with a view to building a fleet of small wind powered box ships for cargo owners who want the ultimate green logistics chain for their products.


Doggett is the founder of Sail Cargo Inc, a company focused on building and operating, at least initially, a pair of wooden cargo vessels up and down the coasts of the America’s shipping ecological products for discerning markets- think fair trade coffee for high street baristas.


One of the Sail Cargo vessels is the Ceiba, currently being hand built by a team of shipwrights in the jungle of Costa Rica, and the second Vega has been bought second hand and being repurposed in the Netherlands.


It is quite likely that Doggett’s definition of clean and green differs somewhat from the claims of the liner giants who are currently investing millions, if not billions, of dollars in shoring up their LNG green credentials, or building methanol.


The clean container fleet Doggett refers to is the plan she has to build a fleet of wind-powered containerships.


The Veer project she is running alongside the Sail Cargo one sees her currently on the search for funding,  the right kind of  cargo owners and a possible shipyard.


She already knows which sail the Veer container ships will have. It is called a DynaRig and looks somewhat like a freestanding clipper ship set of masts made with composite materials, but without all the rigging. Naval architect Dykstra in the Netherlands has been brought in for the vessel design and Southern Spars in New Zealand will provide the 62.5 m high DynaRig technology.

The vessels will have hydrogen power, but this is very much the auxiliary power rather than the wind being the auxiliary assist power says Doggett.


These Veer vessels will not be entering global shipping routes and competing with the liner companies. For starters the design is only about 160teu and 100 m in length, so the number of containers is limited. Secondly Doggett is taking the same commercial approach as she did with Sail Cargo Inc, she is looking for dedicated cargos from shippers who want an absolute zero supply chain.


Earlier this year Veer signed an agreement with Lush. It’s a popular UK-based cosmetics brand with a strong ethical commitments, a first step in getting the commercial arrangements in place to help secure the funding and finance needed


Veer also has approval in principle for the wind powered containership design from ABS, and now Doggett hopes to get the tendering done to secure a contract by the end of the year.


You can hear more from Danielle Doggett herself on this weeks Aronnax Podcast where she tells Craig Eason about her plans with ceiba, Vega and the Veer vessels and why she is not scared of the big containership lines and the risks of greenwashing.


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