Port of Houston Executive Director, Roger Guenther, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Texas A&M University to explore the use of an innovative and autonomous system called Freight Shuttle International (FSI) designed to move trailers and shipping containers more efficiently.
The emissions-free, electric-powered transporter has the capacity to move 300,000 tons of goods each day. The FSI uses one-third of the energy at one-sixth the cost of traditional heavy-duty diesel trucks.
For the Port of Houston, the innovation of the FSI could help them to reduce port congestion, now that the container traffic has grown since the expansion of the Panama Canal. Guenther explained the system saying:
“Container volumes continue to grow; we’ve continually innovated our terminals to accommodate that demand through expanded capacity and increased cargo velocity. The potential that the Freight Shuttle provides to complement the existing road and rail transportation system and contribute to economic growth and creation of jobs is truly exciting.
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott was pleased with the partnership and said the FSI is the product of “exemplary collaboration:
“For more than a decade, Texas has been the number-one exporting state in America, and freight movement is vitally important to our state’s economy,” Abbott said. “As the product of innovative research at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Freight Shuttle System will help ensure that we are able to meet our growing demand for efficient freight movement in Texas and ensure our long-term prosperity.”
Additional benefits of FSI include zero point-of-service-emissions, Reduction of roadway congestion, delivery time reliability and reduction of potential highway crashes.
The FSI’s Chairman and President, Dr. Steve Roop also commented:
“We’ve been developing the freight shuttle concept for over a decade, but now it is a real, tangible system which people can see, and that makes a difference in attracting partners to support future development, refinement, and deployment. This agreement with the Port of Houston is an encouraging sign.”