Zero-emission freight forwarding – the old-fashioned way

Ask Jorn Langeran, founder and CEO of Dutch shipping startup EcoClipper, how his ship’s maiden voyage is going, and it’s like more than a century ago on a European dock. It’s like chatting with a merchant.

“At the beginning, the wind was really good,” he says of the progress of the De Tucker, built in 1912. The ship has recently embarked on a regular schedule to ports across Europe. Chocolate, olive oil and wine are among the first shipments.

On the way from Holland to Portugal, like thousands of sailors over the centuries, De Tucker’s crew had to sail close to the Atlantic winds in order to make their way south across the west coast of France. I didn’t.

“Otherwise, currents and prevailing winds could easily pull you into the Bay of Biscay,” says Langeran. EcoClipper has her five employees and her five crew onshore and has raised around €1 million in funding to date, half of which consists of loans.