Reports of Sail Freight’s Demise Have Been Mildly Exaggerated

by Vermont Rice

I am amazed by the number and the inspired nature of colleagues we at VSFP did not know we had.

Take a look at New Dawn Traders , a fellow startup based in England and aspiring to trade the old slave triangle route, wisely renaming it the “freedom triangle,” with an emphasis on environmental stewardship and fair trade.

Also Consider Sailing Cargo Ship Company, another startup based in Nova Scotia and slated to start up next month.  What a stunning vessel they are using.  Imagine a new global trade network comprised of inland and inshore trading boats like the Vermont Sail Freight Project’s sailing barge, meeting and trading in a busy port with tall ships from across the sea.  And here is what gives me the most hope that I’ll see such a thing in the near future:  The way we trade and transport now is just way too costly, on so many levels.

The title of this post comes from a Freakonomics article that’s a few years old now but I think they had it right!  Of course the original quote comes from our fellow inland cargo sailor, Mark Twain, who said that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated upon hearing that his obituary had been published in New York.  The same guy also said, quite aptly for contemporary sail freight ventures. “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Picture from the NY times freakonomics blog