TOWT: Africa's route is now open

Press release date: February 28th, 2023

TOWT chooses Ivory Coast to launch the first carbon-free shipping line between Africa and Europe.

TOWT, the leading sailing shipowner, will launch its first stopover in Ivory Coast in 2024, offering high-performance, drastically carbon-free transport at a competitive cost.

The deployment of the line will follow the increase in the fleet: 4 calls per year from 2024 with 2 ships (i.e. a total of 8,000 tonnes of goods transported), with projections about 30 ships in 2030.

TOWT offers a competitive transit time, drastic decarbonisation and an affordable freight rate.

To prepare for the deployment of the line, Guillaume Le Grand, CEO of TOWT, and Alexandre Mabille, in charge of development, met in mid-February with Ivorian maritime stakeholders.

Mr. Amadou KONE, Minister of Transport received the TOWT teams, in the presence of Mr. Hien Yacouna SIE, CEO of the Autonomous Port of Abidjan.

Mr. Hilaire Marcel LAMIZANA, CEO of the Autonomous Port of Abidjan, the world's largest cocoa exporting port, received the TOWT teams.

The convention uniting the Maritime Academy (ARSTM) and TOWT since 2019 was deepened, with a view to a sailing module and the embarkation of African sailors on the cargo ships.

The ship's design was presented to the country's main dockers' union.


Credit: Ministry of Transport of Ivory Coast

From left to right:
Alexandre Mabille (TOWT); Mr. Amadou KONE, Minister of Transport of Ivory Coast; Mr. Hien Yacouna SIE, Managing Director of the Autonomous Port of Abidjan; Guillaume Le Grand (TOWT CEO)


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Credit: Autonomous Port of Abidjan

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Credit: Autonomous Port of San Pedro

Guillaume Le Grand, CEO, and Alexandre Mabille, Development Manager, TOWT. Hilaire Marcel Lamizana, Managing Director, Patrice Zahabi, Director of Strategy and Permanent Representation, PASP. Nicolas Houard, Managing Director, SOGENA Ivory.

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The ARSTM crew with TOWT and its Ivorian associates.


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Guillaume LE GRAND and the Colonel Karim COULIBALY


Credit: ARSTM

The crew of a ship is the image of the ship-owning company. In 2019, TOWT has chosen to engage in an in-depth exchange with the Regional Academy of Maritime Sciences and Techniques, in order to take on board young sailors from the sub-region to help them better understand the specificities of tall ships, which are necessary for a real decarbonisation of maritime transport. In this way, the "midships", who may one day become captains, will gain in skills and sea sense on board and represent a crew that promotes, beyond the ANEMOS label on produces, all the professionals of the sea, including from the countries of origin of the goods. An ambitious partnership with an ambitious institution has thus been engaged, so that the human aspect goes together with the environmental aspect.

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Credit: SOGENA Ivory Coast

Guillaume Le Grand and Mr. Serges Eric Yandé (General Secretary of the dockers and transit dockers of the port of Abidjan).


The partnership with NORD SUD CTI


Credit: Nord Sud CTI

TOWT - Nord Sud cti: a strategic alliance.
From left to right:
Alexandre MABILLE, TOWT; Henri LE GOUIS, President of Nord Sud cti; Philippe BIHAN, Managing Director of Nord Sud cti; Guillaume LE GRAND, TOWT.


« Traditional maritime transport contributes significantly to CO2 emissions. At Nord Sud CTI, as a player in this sector, we feel it is important to contribute as much as possible to the decarbonisation of this activity. This is why we have developed an exclusive partnership with TOWT, the leading charterer and trader of goods under sail; To support their approach and offer our customers a new, competitive and responsible shipping method on the Ivory Coast »

Philippe Bihan, Managing Director of Nord Sud CTI

TOWT wants to develop carbon-free flows from France to Côte d'Ivoire, to exploit the full potential of this route and thus increase its impact on reducing carbon emissions.

At the beginning of the year, the ship-owner sealed a partnership with the freight-forwarder NORD SUD CTI. On February 16, TOWT was invited to an event organized by the African commissioner, bringing together more than 150 cargo-owners.


TOWT is committed to its Ivorian partners

TOWT's operational partners in Ivory Coast

To ensure the operation of its calls, TOWT has as partners SOGENA Ivory Coast, a specialist in port handling, and La Compagnie Fruitière for the management of calls.

« For us, it is important that the maritime world can get involved. More than a project, it is an innovative achievement that will be able to show the example and a demonstration that we can do clean transport. We will do our best to bring this transport not to be an exception but an irreversible process which should be generalized. I think it will change mentalities. If we can bring a drop of oil into the gears of this reflection, it will be a success. We will accompany the TOWT group to the end because we believe in it. It is not a financial question, but a question of survival for our planet. »

Nicolas Houard, Managing Director of SOGENA Ivory Coast

Credit: Nord Sud CTI

TOWT's ambitions for Ivory Coast

Offer an alternative to carbon-intensive maritime transport

Today, there is no alternative offer to fossil-fueled shipping between France and Africa, which is nevertheless affected by climate change. The solution proposed by TOWT opens the African continent to the decarbonization of maritime transport. The continent, in the maritime sector, is thus positioned at the forefront of decarbonization.


« Ivory Coast is a real maritime country, looking out to sea, that understands ships. We were received with warmth and enthusiasm. We share, with the Ivorian national and port authorities, and with the shippers, the same vision and the desire to move forward together in favor of truly carbon-free maritime transport, carrying meaning and hope, strong human values. »

Guillaume Le Grand, CEO of TOWT – TransOceanic Wind Transport

Enhance the value of Ivorian agricultural production, particularly that of cocoa

As the world's leading cocoa producer, Ivory Coast has one of the strongest potentials on the continent. The chocolate market is moved by a fundamental trend, a desire for more value. In cocoa, as in wine, we are starting to talk about grape variety, vintage, quality.

TOWT wants to give this production letters of nobility: cocoa deserves to be better valued, both the product itself and the work and know-how of the growers, in particular thanks to the transparency conferred by the ANEMOS label, the only transport label in the world guaranteeing low-carbon navigation thanks to working sailing ships.

Provide shippers with exceptional and affordable service

TOWT offers shippers a highly differentiating, high-impact and hopeful transport solution. This innovative and ambitious project represents a complete paradigm shift, bringing hope.

TOWT will allow certain varieties of cocoa to stand out on the markets of the North, to promote great cocoa vintages, through a qualitative and societal approach, thanks to a carbon-free and ANEMOS-labelled sea transport. Beyond cocoa, other goods are expected on board.

Ivory Coast will be the gateway for flows to the sub-region. On imports, TOWT partners will benefit from the marketing and sales leverage of the ANEMOS label.

TOWT's social commitment

In 2019, TOWT signed a partnership agreement with the Regional Academy of Marine Sciences and Techniques (ARSTM). Based in Abidjan, this regional institution is in charge of maritime, industrial, port training and maritime safety and security issues for the fifteen French-speaking countries of West and Central Africa.

Thanks to this partnership, TOWT wants to make a concrete contribution to the training of sailors in sailing propulsion in the merchant navy. Such training did not exist until then, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

The launch of the maritime line between France and Ivory Coast will make it possible to stimulate a new dynamic in this partnership, to offer the best students of the ARSTM the unique experience of sailing on large sailing cargo vessel, and in the ship maneuvers. TOWT will grant them access to practical internships and evolving training modules, and will make every effort to facilitate the onboarding of students and their training course. Finally, TOWT will take part into the academic activities and events of the institution.

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