Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

You gotta know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em

| April 13, 2010

Anyone who’s been to an intermodal port or seen the container ships that serve them knows there is no shortage of big colored boxes being stacked like giant Lego walls. They’re also shuffled all over the place, too often empty due to global imbalances in world trade. That deadhead costs the industry $7 billion a year, experts say.

The Wall Street Journal reports, with an enviable headline, “Foldable Shipping Containers Try to Stack Up,” on a folding container that aims to cut those costs by allowing containers to be stacked more densely. On the other hand, the Journal says, their $4,000 cost is about double the cost of a normal box, so don’t expect a worldwide rush to convert to the new boxes just yet.

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