New space-saving solutions for ocean shippers, carriers
Two innovations allow shippers to get more inside a container and carriers to ship empties more cheaply.
In the transportation world, if you want to boost productivity and reduce per-unit costs, the usual approach is to cram more stuff into the same amount of space. How? If you're a shipper of ocean freight, the new container-loading method developed by Yusen Logistics, a Japanese freight forwarder and third-party logistics service provider (3PL), may do the trick. In July, Yusen launched a service that allows shippers to double-stack items inside ocean containers by means of specialized decks. The decks hang from the roof of the container and divide the interior into upper and lower sections. The configuration will improve loading efficiency and space utilization, and the containers can be customized to meet individual customers' requirements, Yusen said.
Or if you're an ocean carrier, you might want to investigate the 4Fold container developed by Holland Container Innovations (HCI), a co-winner of the International Transport Forum's 2014 Promising Innovation in Transport Award. The container can be folded to a quarter of its height, and four folded containers bundled together take up the same amount of space as a single standard container. Other companies have developed foldable containers, but according to HCI, 4Fold is the first 40-foot high-cube version to pass the International Standards Organization (ISO) certification test.
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