TOWT orders six more sailing cargo ships

French sailing freight transport company TransOceanic Wind Transport (TOWT) has ordered six additional vessels from compatriot shipbuilder Piriou.

Courtesy of Piriou

The newbuilds are expected to debut in 2026 and 2027, TOWT said.

The order comes as the company prepares to commission its first two wind-powered cargo ships this summer.

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Set to have “the world’s largest fleet of cargo sailboats” by 2027, TOWT is increasing its capacities in order to be able to respond to a significant demand for carbon-free maritime transport.

“After 2 intense years of work, we are extremely happy and proud to take this significant step in the history of TOWT. With the construction of these 6 additional cargo sailboats, we are consolidating our position to be a pioneer in the transport of goods by sail by increasing our fleet to 8 ships,” Diana Mesa, co-founder and director general, and Guillaume Le Grand, co-founder and President of TOWT, commented.

“Here is a concrete and ambitious response to the growing demand for decarbonized shipping. This expansion reinforces our commitment to a sustainable maritime future. Because yes, this is only the beginning. We intend to continue our momentum and go even further,” they added.

TOWT has focused its activities on sailing transport since 2011. The construction of the Phoenix class sailboats will result in a more than 95% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to fossil-powered containerships.

With eight ships, TOWT said it will contribute to saving around 40,000 tonnes of CO2 by transporting around 200,000 tonnes of goods.

After months of construction, Anemos and Artemis, the first two cargo sailboats in the fleet, are nearing completion. The first charter contracts have already been signed.

The enthusiasm for wind-powered vessels in France was recently confirmed with a multi-stakeholder sailing pact. By signing the pact, the government confirmed its support for companies involved in wind-assisted ship propulsion. It said the ultimate objective is to capture 30% of the global market share with French wind propulsion technology.

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