Doubling the amount of cars in shipping containers

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Trans-Rak International

Original news release was issued by the University of Warwick.

When it comes to automobile shipping, there are generally two main options. The vehicle can be shipped in a container or via Roll On Roll Off (RORO). The latter is a very popular, cost-effective type of transport where the cargo is simply “rolled on” the vessel at the port of loading and “rolled off” the vessel at the overseas destination. However, it falls behind container shipping in terms of geographical coverage. Recently, WMG at the University of Warwick developed innovative solutions for Warwickshire-based manufacturer Trans-Rak International (TRI) which could lead to a safer and more efficient car shipping than ever before.

A new software — operating a car racking system produced by TRI — automates the task of finding the optimal placement of cars in a shipping container. Intelligence of the software allows for any combination of make or model. Currently, an average of two cars can be stored in each container. That capacity could be doubled to four cars using this revolutionary system.

Since the system is automatic, it eliminates the need for manual processing which is both slower and not as safe. Users simply select the type and number of cars, they wish to transport. A numerical process simulates hundreds of thousands of different loading scenarios, and generates a report of the most efficient combination of cars in each container, as well as their exact positioning.

The racking hardware comprises of removable, metal components that come together to form a variable-dimension frame, with which cars can be lifted up inside a container, allowing other cars to be positioned efficiently underneath the lifted cars.

“The solution developed for TRI has totally transformed the manual-based processes previously used for establishing the optimal placement of a set of cars. The new software-inspired system allows specific vehicles to be selected from a comprehensive list, meaning a quicker view can be gained in relation to vehicle configuration. This has helped save considerable time, resource and money.” said Piero Filippin, an innovation manager at WMG and a developer of the software.

This neat system appears to be a very valuable addition to all those involved in vehicle transportation. Since the software assumes the role of a cargo manipulator, the process of transporting vehicles will become more secure and less time-consuming. That being said, the combined technologies could offer massive savings in cost for the global automotive industry.

Michal Madaras

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