Eco-friendly and smart cargos in future!
The predictable growth of maritime transportation (15 billion tons of goods carried in 2050 compared to 10 billion tons in 2014) encourages manufacturers and shipowners to redouble their imagination in order to prepare the future and adopt a sustainable development pursuant to international commitments.
Today, 90% of goods are carried by sea, 50 000 merchant marine vessels cross the oceans, for a global market worth 1 500 M € per year. Maritime transport is today the most environment friendly way of transportation. It only represents a weak part of seas and oceans pollution and less than 3% of air emissions. It releases 5 times less of CO2 than road transportation and 13 times less than air transportation.
Back to sailing and aerodynamics …
Since 2009, some people have chosen to go back to sailing. This evolution will stay limited but will be accompanied by innovations and multiple hybrid solutions: solar sails, automatized giant sails and engine in case of low wind, kites.
Aerodynamic shell associated to a sailing software that allows to steer the shell according to the wind.
…And one day cargo drones
Without any crew and steered from ground controllers, cargo drones are being studied as they are autonomous and smart, safer and greener. However, the first journeys for such convoys need, not only the change of attitude, but also changes in international sailing rules.
These innovations add to new energies to be exploited at sea (fix or floating wind parks, stream generators, wave energy plants), so many challenges that mankind must accept and so many economic opportunities to seize, but also new risks, about safety, security and marine environment protection. These new challenges, even if they use technologies that have been proved for decades, need a rapid evolution of stakeholders, from construction to operation, to learn and master new machines.