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For three different wind propulsion technologies, the energy saving potential of sea going cargo vessels are discussed: a kite, a Flettner rotor and a Dynarig-sail. The energy saving potential can be increased significantly if the route can be optimized when using a wind assisted ship propulsion. The increase of travelling time due to a route adoption is within the frame of the commonly accepted uncertainty in supply chains and can be limited or adjusted in the route optimization software as a parameter. The calculated saving potential depends on several parameters: the considered wind propulsion system, the route, the kind of ship (bulker, multipurpose carrier, tanker), as well as the ship speed and the weather. The cost-effectiveness of the installation of a wind propulsion system strongly depends on the fuel price, the ship speed and the international policy concerning the ship emissions.