eNews • June 9, 2014
Promoting a Cost-Effective, Reliable and Competitive Transportation System

No space for cargo container? Fold it

A foldable cargo container called 4Fold, is a 40-foot container manufactured in China, which can be folded and stacked once emptied, which saves space for port terminals and warehouses.

Holland Container Innovations has developed a cargo container that can be folded when empty to save on space.

Four empty 40-ft containers can be folded and stacked in the place of one standard box helping container terminals and warehouses save space.

Holland Container Innovations was established as a spin-off from the Delft University of Technology to market 4FOLD, the foldable containers. “We mainly developed the container to reduce costs by nearly 25 per cent and emissions related to transport of empty containers,” said the company’s CEO, Simon Bosschieter.

Space constraints

A large number of containers get transported empty. For example, Asia exports a huge volume of cargo to the US and Europe but the containers return empty. “Demand for a solution that reduces empty container movements is strong and many shipping lines and transporters are interested in 4FOLD,” he told Business Line.

4FOLD is manufactured in China and three major global shipping lines are already using them, he said.

Indian ports handle 25-30 per cent empty containers for repositioning. This means, boxes are stored in a port where there is space and moved, when needed, to another port. This saves the storage cost at the destination port, said an industry source.

Recently, 4FOLD passed a test to prove that steel meets the same requirement as a standard container.

The container was lifted when loaded with twice the maximum allowed payload. This load was over 60 tonnes, the weight of a fully loaded Boeing 737 aircraft. The container passed the test, the company said.

G Raghu Shankar, Chairman, Logistics Committee, Southern Indian Chamber of Commerce and India, said 4FOLD would save space, cost and time.

While repositioning of empty containers from one port to the other - mostly one country to other - freight is paid on slots used in the vessel. With 4FOLD containers, slots for ten containers can be reduced to two, he said.

Source: Eco-Business.com


The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The National Grain and Feed Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association serve as ex-officio members of the organization.

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