French wind-assisted roro project powers ahead

Manitou Group, a manufacturer of equipment for handling, aerial work platforms and earthmoving, has formalised its partnership with compatriot French shipping firm Neoline, which will see the group’s red industrial vehicles transported by sail across the Atlantic.

Neoline’s new sail-assisted roros will take Manitou equipment from Saint-Nazaire on the west coast of France to the US port of Baltimore. The construction of the first of two sailing roros will start in the coming months.

Manitou sells more than 1,000 pieces of equipment to the US market each year. The new ships will be able to fit just over 40 Manitou machines for each voyage.

The landmark new ships will be 136 m long and have a sail surface of 4,200 sq m. They will serve a new transatlantic route between St-Nazaire, Baltimore, Halifax, and St-Pierre & Miquelon. A second ship with equivalent specifications will follow as soon as possible to achieve a rate of departure of every two weeks.

Jean Zanuttini, president of Neoline Développement, commented: “By signing this contract, Manitou Group is demonstrating its resolute commitment to the energy transition of its supply chain. Thereby, Manitou Group gains access to a new generation of maritime transport designed to reduce environmental impact as much as possible while fully meeting its logistics needs.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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