Innovative shipping containers promising to be more efficient and sustainable were demonstrated at the TRA 2022, the biggest European Research and Technology Conference on transport and mobility, that took place in Lisbon from 14-17 November. During these days, TRA is welcomed researchers, policy makers and industry representatives to get together and contribute to the discussion on how research and innovation can reshape the transport and mobility system.
1. “Smart” shipping containers
AELER is the LogTech company behind the reinvention of the shipping container, which has not seen an upgrade since the past 60 years. The company manufactured the new containers in a “smart” way, meaning that each of them has a large number of advanced Internet of Things (IoT) systems and devices that are embedded in the door, processing large amounts of data to protect sensitive goods and track the cargo in transit.
The new shipping container operates across 3 key sectors: flexitanks — transporting edibles, liquids, oils, among other products, high value goods — such as crops, chemicals or pharmaceuticals and sensitive goods — those more prone to get damaged. Moreover, each client has full access to a dedicated platform to get a full view of all the relevant data ranging from temperature, pressure, humidity, luminosity, impact, door opening detection, precise GPS location, highest security, among others.
The AELER container and its totally insulated build saves us time and money.Andreas Westermayer, Business Development Manager at Colombus Cargo
Sergio Barbarino, research fellow at Procter & Gamble (P&G) and another AELER’s client said that using the company’s innovative containers, P&G can carry 26t instead of 22t, resulting in a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions.
2. Global hub
According to its Co-founders, Naïk Londono and David Baur, the new containers, which were certified in 2021, are provided as a service, since the company takes care of logistics, giving flexibility to its clients to essentially rent a container and ship it to wherever the client needs without having to deal with the associated administrative hassle.
“Our goal is to offer the containers as a service to increase flexibility in the logistic system. Clients will have access to the platform and all the data relevant to their containers,” the AELER’s duo said.
3. Recycling and repurposing
The Swiss-based AELER’s new shipping container is made of composites, primarily with glass fiber reinforced polymer, in other words, recycled plastic. Once the new container reaches the end of its life, it will be repurposed into pre-fabricated houses.
Currently, there are 100 containers in transit, with hubs in Europe, the United States, Singapore, Turkey and Australia. The company is set to continue growing with another 6,000 units expected to be manufactured in 2023.
With the demonstration at the TRA event in Lisbon, which attracted over 2,000 participants, the company is further leveraging the visibility of this innovative concept that promises to revamp maritime trade.