We believe in making a stand on environmental and climate protection. Reducing emissions and developing and using alternative propulsion technologies is an important part of this commitment. These are areas in which we are constantly on the look-out for new ideas.

Over the past few years we’ve shepherded a steady stream of innovations that have helped make the shipping industry more sustainable. For instance, in 2007 we became the first shipping company in the world to actively support and champion SkySails kite propulsion technology, a major milestone in green shipping. Since then, we’ve been contributed to several other R&D projects in the field of wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP), such as the Wind Hybrid Coaster project.

As part of our ongoing mission to optimize ship propulsion and efficiency, we recently fitted eleven of our Rhein-M type vessels with Schneekluth wake-equalizing ducts. The Schneekluth system saves between 200 and 400 litres of heavy fuel oil per ship – on each day of operation. Needless to say, we’ll be retrofitting the Schneekluth technology to more of our vessels in the very near future.
Our green shipping initiatives are spearheaded by the company’s managing owner, Gerd Wessels. In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Technical Advisory Board of DNV GL, a body of which the Wessels company has been a member since 2010. In this role, Gerd Wessels has championed a number of pioneering developments, such as the “Environmental Passport – Operation,” a voluntary programme that ship operators (including Wessels) use to document and report their ship emissions to GL and have them verified. The emission data can then be analysed and used for optimization purposes. We receive a lot enquiries about these sorts of emission reporting programmes from customers seeking to ensure voluntary compliance with emission standards ahead of their adoption into law.
Gerd Wessels is also a valued and popular guest lecturer at the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of the University of Strathclyde, where he regularly gives lectures on green shipping. These stints are an opportunity for him to share his practical insights with highly motivated budding maritime professionals and discuss modern shipping. They are also an excellent way of keeping up with the latest new ideas.

Gerd Wessels
Naval Architect
Managing Owner Wessels Reederei GmbH & Co. KG

Phone: +49 (0)5932 / 501-39
E-mail: management[at]