It seems like only a couple of months since Boundary Layer announced its $5 million-ish round of financing, but the company hasn’t been resting on its laurels. Today, its founders told me it signed up some beefy launch partners and is gearing up for a large-scale roll-out as early as 2025.
The company is planning to operate high-speed, hydrogen-powered cargo ships called ARGO — the menacing-looking beast at the top of this article. The ships offer zero-emission transit alternatives. The company hopes that its solutions can compete with regional air freight.
The company’s flagship ARGO will be powered by green liquid hydrogen and fuel cells, emitting zero CO2 during operation. That’s an attractive feature for companies trying to cut into their climate impact. Reducing reliance on air freight is a key aspect of that.
“We recognize that new technologies like ARGO play an important role in reducing our carbon emissions, especially in hard-to-abate sectors like air transportation,” said Marcus LeMaster, global director of Logistics Sustainability at Schneider Electric of part Boundary Layer’s press briefing. “As launch partners, we look forward to supporting [Boundary Layer] as they bring this product to market.”
Ed Kearney, CEO of Boundary Layer Technologies, bets the future of the company on a huge vision — he believes nearly every Fortune 500 company using air freight in Asia will eventually need the company’s high-speed container transport.
“Our recent partnerships mark a significant step towards realizing our vision of launching the world’s first high-speed, zero-emissions freight service using hydrofoil container ships. From here, we are singularly focused on getting our first vessel ready to load containers for our launch partners by Q1 2025,” said Kearney. “In addition to these launch partners, we are also in advanced discussions with many other large corporations spanning the verticals of computer manufacturers, medical equipment suppliers, consumer electronics, and automotive OEMs. This really demonstrates the breadth of problems ARGO is already solving around the world.”
The first vessel will be launched into operation in Asia by 2025 and will have a gross payload capacity of 200 tons. It will operate at a cruising speed of 40 knots, enabled by the company’s proprietary hydrofoil technology. The exact routes for service will be selected with their launch partners over the coming months, but key port cities under consideration include Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and several Southeast Asian cities.