Transport is assumed to be for a large part responsible for the climate change. On the other side, it is common practice to transport cellular glass, produced with ultimate ecologic care, several 1000 km to a job site with environment unfriendly trucks. And we all know that cellular glass is 5% solid material and 95% gas.
A European truck with lorry has an internal load volume of 157 m³ and loaded with 120 kg/m³ cellular glass, we get a load of maximum 18000 kg. A typical truck + lorry has a weight of 15000 kg. As a consequence the tool to transport has about the same weight as the load. On top of that, the load is a watertight and water resistant product that floats on water.
Not using transport with boats is in fact Kafka because transport over water of a floating product should have almost a negligible energy consumption.
M8 ships are equivalent with 32 “trucks + lorry” and can be fully loaded with cellular glass (about 600 Ton while 2050 Ton is possible). Compared with trucks, the energy consumption is about 20% and personnel cost is negligible (about 5%). With good logistics, there is also no time issue. On top of that, bigger ships (M12), equivalent with 58 trucks are in the picture today.
On these M8 ships, we could install photo voltaic panels for a peak power of 125 KW, while these ships, if loaded with cellular glass (low load) can do their job with a 600 kW motor. I guess (but it is a wild guess) that an important part (50%) of the transport could be CO2 neutral.
Maybe, it is possible to put the cellular glass (like log driving in the past) directly on the water, avoiding the investment in a boat, only a “pusher boat” is needed.
Today, the economic logic favors 100% truck transport because there will be always a truck transport between water and job site. This handling is today not well organized. But the economy becomes greener every day which means that the ecologic and economic logic are becoming the same. Ships, specially designed for the transport of cellular glass to the job site and transport of recycled glass / raw materials to the plant have to be considered and designed. One day, humanity has to live with only sunshine as energy source.