Foldable shipping containers have been developed for the past few years in order to reduce the inconveniences of dealing with a large amount of empty containers that accumulate in the port facilities.
The cost of transport for empty or full containers are not very different, which means that moving the unloaded containers represent a significant cost, adding the extra CO2 emissions.
With that in mind, one of the companies that decide to take a step further to solve this situation was Holland Container Innovations, based in Netherland, which began its project as a start-up in 2008. The company designed a 40’ HC foldable container that could reduce its volume by a 25%. In March 2013, HCI obtained the ISO certification and started the production in Asia, with the name 4Fold.
In Spain, the firm Navlandis developed another project to create a prototype of a foldable 20’ container called Z Box. The container reduces the storage space by 80% and folds in a “Z” shape.
Navlandis says that a 25% of all shipping containers are now empty. Consequently, their solution allows decreasing by 50% the time of storage.
ZBox containers can be collected in sets of 5 in the same space that a regular container would occupy, which reduces operations costs by 50% according to the company: “This container will have the same resistance than traditional containers. Additionally, it will be possible to manipulate the units with the same port equipment and with the minimum of human resources, which will make operational costs more competitive,” said Miguel Navalón, CEO of Navlandis.
In the US, Staxxon has developed a shipping container that folds into an accordion shape instead of horizontally, which allows the units to be collected in sets of 5 and still meet the ISO standards requirements. This technology saves between $100 and $125 per unit and $500 for 5 units set in transport costs. The company also ensures that these foldable containers are easier to maintain and repair.
Are foldable shipping containers the solution for shipping’s future?
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