Revolutionizing the shipping industry with zero-emission sail cargo ships (Interview with Danielle Doggett of Sailcargo)

Green Dreamer - Podcast on Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration
The life of a vessel is a very negative story, but it doesn’t have to be like this. We want to prove that shipping can be regenerative, healthy, and organic.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.


Danielle Doggett (@the.jungle.boat) is the Managing Director of Sailcargo, Inc. (@sailcargo), an emerging company that’s making freight transportation more sustainable with a carbon-neutral system. She has 15 years of experience on traditional ships and project management for sail-cargo initiatives and is currently an adviser to the Caribbean Sail Training Association.

Sailcargo, Inc. is in the process of building its first sailing cargo vessel, Ceiba, which will have a 100% electric engine with modern solar batteries, panels, and wind turbines and three masts to be able to sail with very little wind. The coolest part is that the batteries will charge as the ship sails, thus making it regenerative by design.

In this podcast episode, Danielle sheds light on the current environmental impact of the shipping industry; how her team is going about building a carbon-neutral and regenerative cargo shipping boat; why they chose Costa Rica as the home base of this project; and more.

To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Danielle and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.

On the environmental impact of cargo ships today:

"The 15 largest container ships or bulk carriers out there will emit the same amount of heavy carbon emissions or sulfur emissions as every single car in the world combined.

To put this in perspective, there are over 50,000 ships in the active fleet in the world. 

These vessels burn the heaviest, least refined type of fuel on the planet, which is actually a byproduct of the oil industry. So when you talk about emissions from cars or planes, ships burn absolutely the worst fuel.

To picture it, when you put fuel into your car, if you spill a little bit, it's clear—there isn't much dirt in it, and it's quite pure. The fuel that goes into ships is solid at room temperature."

On the lifetime impact of a vessel:

"We wanted to look at the complete lifespan of a ship because especially with shipping, there is not a full cradle-to-grave perspective on the impact of the vessel throughout its whole life.

We wanted to look at the lifespan from the birth of a ship, which comes from deforesting the Amazon and going mining, to the life of the ship with all of its negative environmental and social impacts, to the death of the vessel—which is a whole other topic about ship breaking.

[The life of a vessel] is a very negative story. But it doesn't have to be like this. We want to prove that shipping can be regenerative, healthy, and organic."

Final words of wisdom:

”Try to inform yourself. Get the full story and the full picture of anything—and try to think outside the box.”


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Revolutionizing the shipping industry - Green Dreamer Podcast
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