Written by Georgia Biondo Flight
Hybrids and biofuels may be hot topics on eco-watchers’ lips these days, but with two-thirds of the world’s goods still being transported by sea, forward-thinking companies will be focused less on the highway and more on the horizon. Enter UK-based Blue Sky Intermodal, which has developed shipping containers lined with sustainable bamboo instead of the typical tropical wood (aside from growing again once it’s cut, bamboo takes just four or five year to mature — the current industry standard, Apitong wood, takes 60).
Who’s buying green in the more than half a trillion worldwide container ship market? French shipping giant CMA CGM was first on board. After giving the new containers a test run, the company discovered that bamboo is as durable, waterproof and pest-resistant as the non-renewable wood. CMA CGM has announced a roll-out of 37,000 TEUs (that’s shipping talk for huge heavy containers). According to the company’s senior vp of container logistics, Alexis Michel, the use of eco-containers “has a dual objective” in the form of modern eco-design and improved technical performance. Hmm, good for the planet and the bottom line? Sounds like smooth sailing.