4FOLD Reduction of the International Transport of Empty Containers by Folding
Due to the global imbalance of import and export ca. € 25 billion a year is spent on repositioning empty containers, and unnecessary emissions of CO2 , NOx and PM are generated. The technical solution proposed by Holland Container Innovation Nederlands (HCI) for this economical and environmental problem is the 4FOLD foldable container. This concept is IP protected by HCI by 8 patents. 4 folded 4FOLD containers stacked upon each other have the same dimensions as one empty container, thus enabling the reduction of the number of transport movements by up to 75%.
This proposal fits within the topic “IT.1-2014-2015. Small business innovation research for Transport” of the work programme “Smart Green and Integrated Transport”. The 4FOLD container strengthens the European transport sector by making container transport more time and cost efficient, creating new jobs, and tackling the aforementioned environmental and mobility defies.
Currently, the 4FOLD container of HCI is the first 40ft foldable container in the world that has received both the CSC and ISO certifications. This prototype is at Technology readiness level (TRL) 7 as it is being demonstrated in an operational environment in 3 small international pilot projects. In this project the technical feasibility of commercial production is assessed, the environmental and financial benefits are quantified in a model, a partner search for a demonstration project with 500 – 1,000 4FOLD containers is conducted and the preliminary business plan is elaborated by including a market implementation roadmap.
The long term ambition of HCI is complete replacement of the conventional 40ft container for the transport of freight on sea, rail and road, starting with the introduction of 200,000 4FOLD containers before 2020. Key parameters in HCIs business proposition are technological maturity, strong marketing approach, early involvement of all major stakeholders in the transport chain, and a convincing demonstration project to be executed within the next 3 years.