California-based Boundary Layer Technologies announced yesterday that key Fortune 500 companies will become launch partners for its zero-emission freight service launching in 2025. The plan is to operate high-speed, hydrogen-powered hydrofoil cargo ships called ARGOs. Boundary Layer Technologies claims it will be able to offer zero-emission transit alternatives to air freight at half the price, with only one day increased transit time door-to-door.
As launch partners, the companies have signed letters of intent for freight and will receive first rights to block space when the new ships become available. They will primarily use the service to reduce their use of air freight along key intra-Asia tradelanes.
ARGO will be powered by green liquid hydrogen and fuel cells, emitting zero CO2 into the atmosphere during operation. For companies like Schneider Electric, a signatory of the Climate Pledge that has committed to reaching end-to-end carbon neutrality by 2040 and net-zero by 2050, reducing air freight with this alternative is an effective way to reduce tons of CO2 from their annual carbon footprint.
Marcus LeMaster, global director of logistics sustainability at Schneider Electric, commented: “We recognise that new technologies like ARGO play an important role in reducing our carbon emissions, especially in hard to abate sectors like air transportation.”
The first vessel will be launched into operation in Asia by 2025 and will have a gross payload capacity of 200 tons or 20 teu. It will operate at a cruising speed of 40 knots, enabled by the company’s proprietary hydrofoil technology. The exact routes for service will be selected with their launch partners over the coming months, but key port cities under consideration include Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and several Southeast Asian cities.