When do four shipping containers occupy the same space as one?

Shipping containers are a common sight on the UK roads, railways and dock yards.  They land in the UK full with cargo for which its owner has been waiting for weeks or maybe months.  However, even though there’s a mystique about guessing what could be hidden within these uniform boxes the reality is that 50% of them on the British motorways are empty and even when they’re on the water a significant proportion of containers carry nothing but air.   At any given moment about 20% of all containers on the world’s seas are empty.

In stark contrast to the retiring shopping bag, a problem with a shipping container is that when it’s empty it takes up as much room as when it’s full.  Until now that is.

Holland Containers Innovations (HCI), in partnership with CARU, has been testing out its foldable 40ft shipping container, branded ‘4Fold’.  The walls of a 4Fold container can be folded flat allowing them to be stacked together taking up just a quarter of the space occupied by a standard container.  Empty containers can account for anything up to 50% of a ships full load so the potential impact of 4Fold in improving the efficiency transporting empty containers by sea freight in addition to road and rail is significant.

More information about 4fold containers can be found athttp://www.hcinnovations.nl/products.html

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