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Sunday, 28 March 2010

The collapsible shipping container..a reality?


(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

For as long as I have been in the shipping industry the pursuit of the collapsible shipping container has been on. Numerous designs and prototypes have been tried and they haven't really proved practical or financially viable. Well this latest design from a Dutch designer called Cargoshell might just be the one that will make the break through.

Why make a shipping container collapsible anyway?

Approximately 90% of all cargo shipped in the world these days is done so by containerisation. There is estimated to be about 200 million shipments per annum. The pinch point on the current standard design is the costs involved to deliver and return the empty containers or frequently re-position them back to export markets. The costs to do this, regardless of the mode of transport, are virtually the same as moving a full container.

So if you can find a way to collapse a container for the empty transport then you can stack them together and return or deliver a few for the same cost of returning one. Cargoshell accomplishes this with a massive volume reduction of 75% and a weight reduction per container of 25% by using composites rather than stell for their construction!

With the world chasing carbon emission reductions, a lighter container equates to significant savings on fuel and therefore emissions.

The other pinch point of past collapsable container designs has been the ease at which you physically erect them and fold them down. Once again, Cargoshell has come up with a design that can be easily errected in about 30 seconds. To see this in action click here.

For this project to ultimately succeed it will depend on the scale of adoption of this design globally. This is because currently the cost of a Cargoshell container to manufacture in fewer quantities is about three times that of a steel container. So it might take a while for shipping lines to gain reductions in their operating cost and then hopefully pass that on.

If I was in the business of operating empty container parks then I'd be worried. This innovation could lead to a 75% revenue hit.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

The collapsible shipping container..a reality?


(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

For as long as I have been in the shipping industry the pursuit of the collapsible shipping container has been on. Numerous designs and prototypes have been tried and they haven't really proved practical or financially viable. Well this latest design from a Dutch designer called Cargoshell might just be the one that will make the break through.

Why make a shipping container collapsible anyway?

Approximately 90% of all cargo shipped in the world these days is done so by containerisation. There is estimated to be about 200 million shipments per annum. The pinch point on the current standard design is the costs involved to deliver and return the empty containers or frequently re-position them back to export markets. The costs to do this, regardless of the mode of transport, are virtually the same as moving a full container.

So if you can find a way to collapse a container for the empty transport then you can stack them together and return or deliver a few for the same cost of returning one. Cargoshell accomplishes this with a massive volume reduction of 75% and a weight reduction per container of 25% by using composites rather than stell for their construction!

With the world chasing carbon emission reductions, a lighter container equates to significant savings on fuel and therefore emissions.

The other pinch point of past collapsable container designs has been the ease at which you physically erect them and fold them down. Once again, Cargoshell has come up with a design that can be easily errected in about 30 seconds. To see this in action click here.

For this project to ultimately succeed it will depend on the scale of adoption of this design globally. This is because currently the cost of a Cargoshell container to manufacture in fewer quantities is about three times that of a steel container. So it might take a while for shipping lines to gain reductions in their operating cost and then hopefully pass that on.

If I was in the business of operating empty container parks then I'd be worried. This innovation could lead to a 75% revenue hit.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Ever wondered exactly where the ship is with your cargo?

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to Brad Skelton's blog-The Shipping Bloke)

GPS technology seems to get better and better and the shipping industry has been an early adopter of this for navigation purposes originally.

Now a significant leap has been made which enables anyone to track all types of ships from cargo ships and tugs to passenger liners via the internet in realtime.

Marinetraffic.com has an incredible website where you can track the ship your cargo is on, see it's speed and even some pictures of her.

I value truth and transparency and in years gone by who would have really known if the vessels agents were telling me the truth on where the ship was or even if they knew exactly themselves. I swear the shipping industry has a massive book of excuses. Well, it just got alot thinner with this great tool.

I am currently working on the integrating this technology into Skelton Sherborne's myCargo realtime tracking facility so my clients have this info available to them on the cargo they entrust to us constantly. It's in a test mode now.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Ever wondered exactly where the ship is with your cargo?

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to Brad Skelton's blog-The Shipping Bloke)

GPS technology seems to get better and better and the shipping industry has been an early adopter of this for navigation purposes originally.

Now a significant leap has been made which enables anyone to track all types of ships from cargo ships and tugs to passenger liners via the internet in realtime.

Marinetraffic.com has an incredible website where you can track the ship your cargo is on, see it's speed and even some pictures of her.

I value truth and transparency and in years gone by who would have really known if the vessels agents were telling me the truth on where the ship was or even if they knew exactly themselves. I swear the shipping industry has a massive book of excuses. Well, it just got alot thinner with this great tool.

I am currently working on the integrating this technology into Skelton Sherborne's myCargo realtime tracking facility so my clients have this info available to them on the cargo they entrust to us constantly. It's in a test mode now.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Thursday, 31 December 2009

This will put hair on your chest.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to my blog-The Shipping Blokes Blog)
Seeing it is new year and depending on what part of the world you are in, you are probably either partying hard or nursing a hangover right now.
Have you ever tried a Scandanavian drink called "Aquavit" or otherwise known as "Linie Aquavit"? I remember fondly quite a few nights on board Wallenius vessels in Brisbane docked at Hamilton Wharf with the ships Captain and their local agents serving up shot after shot of this flavoured rocket fuel. Aquavit is distilled from potatoes or grain mash and packs about 45% alcoholic volume punch. In the distilling process different flavours are produced by adding orange peel, lemon, cardamom, cumin seed and various other ingredients.
Every drop makes an interesting journey by sea before it is ultimately sold.

All Aquavit is shipped from Norway across the Equator (hence "Linie") to Australia and back. This tradition started in the 1800's when the owner of a distillery, Jorgen Lysholm, shipped a consignment to Asia that for some reason wasn't accepted and was returned. Upon inspection of the barrels back in Norway he noticed that his Aquavit had developed a richer flavour for it's travels through warmer climates. Hence the tradition was established and continues to this day as a critical part of the process of producing Aquavit. More on Aquavit including a map of it's journey.

So next time you feel like a shot, try some Aquavit. Always a good idea at the time!

Happy new year!

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

This will put hair on your chest.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to my blog-The Shipping Blokes Blog)
Seeing it is new year and depending on what part of the world you are in, you are probably either partying hard or nursing a hangover right now.
Have you ever tried a Scandanavian drink called "Aquavit" or otherwise known as "Linie Aquavit"? I remember fondly quite a few nights on board Wallenius vessels in Brisbane docked at Hamilton Wharf with the ships Captain and their local agents serving up shot after shot of this flavoured rocket fuel. Aquavit is distilled from potatoes or grain mash and packs about 45% alcoholic volume punch. In the distilling process different flavours are produced by adding orange peel, lemon, cardamom, cumin seed and various other ingredients.
Every drop makes an interesting journey by sea before it is ultimately sold.

All Aquavit is shipped from Norway across the Equator (hence "Linie") to Australia and back. This tradition started in the 1800's when the owner of a distillery, Jorgen Lysholm, shipped a consignment to Asia that for some reason wasn't accepted and was returned. Upon inspection of the barrels back in Norway he noticed that his Aquavit had developed a richer flavour for it's travels through warmer climates. Hence the tradition was established and continues to this day as a critical part of the process of producing Aquavit. More on Aquavit including a map of it's journey.

So next time you feel like a shot, try some Aquavit. Always a good idea at the time!

Happy new year!

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Where does a shipping container go in a year?

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to my blog-The Shipping Blokes Blog)

The BBC undertook a quirky project this past year that I thought you might find interesting.

They tracked a 40' shipping container for a full year on it's journey around the world carrying numerous different types of cargo. During the year it covered about about 50,000 miles by sea, road and rail. It is completing it's final voyage now to South Africa where it will be retired from service and turned into a soup kitchen.

This is fascinating and well worth a look. For more on this project including videos of it's journey and an interactive map of it's travels click here to go to the BBC's "The Box" website.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke