At any moment, more than 20 million shipping containers full of raw materials or finished products are crossing the oceans, neatly stacked on ships.
Other goods travel by rail freight or airfreight. The shipping industry makes the modern global economy tick. But before engines powered trains and trucks and ships, moving goods any distance relied on wind and water. A new project on New York’s Hudson River is trying to bring that spirit back—with carbon-neutral local sail freight.
The waterway has always been an important route for moving people and cargo, but it was much too slow for moving perishable goods.
The construction of a railway line in the middle of the 19th century changed the local shipping industry.
Perishable goods were sent by rail freight, while heavier bulk cargo was loaded onto steamers.
A sail freight project, using a 64-foot-long, 15-foot-wide, steel-hulled schooner built in Baltimore in 194 is partnering with local businesses along the river to offer an alternative to moving freight by road. The Apollonia is almost ready to carry freight on the Hudson next spring.