French company Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT) plans on launching the first hydrogen-powered freight vessel later this year. This vessel will solely be for inland use and run fully on hydrogen fuel cells. Pallets and containers will be used to carry the freight on the boat, and it will go through the Seine river. This is all part of the Flagships project, which goal is to reduce toxic gas emissions from freight ships. Five million EUR has been given to the Flagships program for the creation of two hydrogen-powered freight vessels. One of which is currently scheduled to be released in September 2021.
Since the development of cargo ships, they have been a huge resource for moving freight internationally. The issue arises when it comes to the pollution that cargo ships generate. Not only may the ocean be polluted during the journey, but greenhouse gases are also being emitted into the air. Add to that the number of cargo ships in the ocean today and it can be a source for concern. Hydrogen is a perfect solution because it does not create the waste that bunker fuel does.
Bunker fuel is currently the main type of fuel oil vessels that carry freight internationally use. This type of fuel is dangerous for the environment and is known as the second leading contributor to global warming. Also, it is predicted that the wells that provide oil will dry up and be unusable in around four decades. Because of this, new energy sources like hydrogen and other renewable energy are an ideal replacement.
What can this mean for the Future?
At the current moment, the plan for the vessel is to just carry freight through the city by inland water channels. If this is successful it may open the gateway for creating hydrogen vessels for the ocean. However, developing a larger hydrogen-powered cargo vessel for the ocean may be a difficult task. This is because Hydrogen is not easily storable. The cost of producing hydrogen is also expensive compared to fossil fuels. Plus, refueling stops for hydrogen-powered ships will also have to be built, costing more money. Despite this the potential benefits of hydrogen as a widely used fuel in the future are grand.
This may be an example for not only freight-carrying vessels but other sources of climate change as well. Car companies may follow along and hydrogen-powered vehicle production may become more common. Hydrogen vessels could be the start of a greater push to a more environmentally friendly future. If international emission reduction goals are to be met worldwide, freight shipping is an important factor.
If you plan on exporting/importing freight, feel free to contact us at 305-821-8995. We have freight forwarders who specialize in getting your goods to the final destination. Along with forwarding by air or ocean, we also provide drayage services.