CakeBoxx is the Next Generation of Shipping Containers
Why did we develop the CakeBoxx? The shipping industry has changed a great deal in the past 50 years, yet the basic design of the shipping container hasn’t changed much since it was invented in 1955.
Today, with shrinking margins, more expensive cargos and greater concern for security, we thought it was time for a container design upgrade that directly addresses today’s supply chain realities and offers true, problem-solving value to users.
A Brief History of Intermodal Shipping Containers
In 1955, former trucking company owner and entrepreneur Malcolm McLean and his engineer Keith Tantlinger developed the modern steel intermodal container. On April 26, 1956, a converted World War II US military tanker ship, the SS Ideal-X, was loaded with fifty-eight, 35-foot containers and sailed from the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, New Jersey, for the Port of Houston, Texas.
As they say, the rest is history. In 2001 Forbes Magazine called Malcolm McLean “one of the few men who changed the world.” The International Maritime Hall of Fame named him the “Man of the Century.” Jumping to more recent times, the Maersk Line recently signed a contract to build yet again the world’s largest and most efficient class of container vessels, the “Triple E” class, with a capacity of 18,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU), nearly 15 percent greater than the enormous 15,000+ TEU “Emma Mærsk” placed into service only five years ago. Today there are nearly 30 million TEU in circulation in global trade.
Why the History Lesson?
Virtually every aspect of global trade has been modernized, streamlined and innovated to carve every penny possible out of transportation costs except the container. Malcolm McLean’s design has been adapted to accommodate multiple cargos, but the basic design is still the same – until NOW.
Times have changed since 1956. Containers need to load, unload and be handled more quickly to make margins. Cargos are more expensive and more attractive to steal; they are more temperature and humidity sensitive; they’re subject to more inspections for protection from nefarious intent and the spread of disease.
We developed the CakeBoxx doorless intermodal cargo container to help solve some of the most pressing problems in container shipping today. Read more about the CakeBoxx Advantages.
When was the last time one of your containers was breached to steal your cargo?
Problem: Thousands of intermodal containers are broken into each year, costing manufacturers, shippers and retailers billions of dollars in lost and damaged cargo. These break-ins almost always have one thing in common: containers are breached at their weakest point – the doors.
In most of today’s standard intermodal shipping containers, a thief with less than $20 of equipment from a hardware store can remove a door at the hinges and replace it without even breaking the seal. Shippers and security personnel may be unaware of the breach until long after the contents have made their way onto the black market or unintended contents have been smuggled across our borders. When you overlay this illicit ease-of-entry with the potential use of these containers by terrorists, the stakes become even higher.
Solution: CakeBoxx is the most secure intermodal shipping container available because it eliminates the weakest link: the doors. The unique CakeBoxx design prevents access by unauthorized persons because once a CakeBoxx container is sealed, nothing gets in or out – whether the container is onboard ship, in a stack at a terminal or on a railcar or truck. Even an unlocked CakeBoxx cannot be accessed without either a lifting device or by cutting through the container walls. Such activities are easily noticed, keeping contents safe from theft or introduction of clandestine cargo.
Problem: The structure of a container is only as strong as its weakest point…in this case, the door. It’s a function of engineering. In order to create the largest possible opening, the rear corner posts of a container are made of narrower, weaker columns. These weak spots – particularly when repeated across multiple, stacked containers – are often the cause of cargo-crushing container collapses when ships pitch and tilt on heavy seas. And doors mean more potential places for the elements to get in, which can lead to water or pest damage.
Solution: CakeBoxx provides the strongest protection for your cargo. Because there are no doors, a CakeBoxx container has stronger columns on all four corners, making it virtually impossible to crush during normal operations or while experiencing sudden twisting motions during heavy seas. The air-tight seal keeps pests, water and other elements out, ensuring your cargo remains safe and dry.
Problem: The entire purpose of a door is access, but virtually all standard intermodal containers provide doors on only one end. Consequently, each pallet of cargo must be loaded and then removed through the narrowest point of access using small forklifts. Because the doors don’t allow two pallets of cargo to be moved side-by-side, pallets must be moved one at a time, resulting in multiple trips in and out of the container. This not only takes more time, it also results in more wear and tear on the equipment and cargo.
Solution: CakeBoxx containers can be loaded and unloaded from all sides, like flatbed trailers. Multiple, full-sized forklift trucks can be used to handle large, awkwardly-shaped items and to simultaneously load and unload full-span pallets. Using full-span pallets can reduce the unloading time to 5-10 minutes with just one forklift. Faster loading and unloading saves money, reduces wear and tear and keeps your cargo moving.
Problem: In traditional intermodal containers, cargo cannot be stacked completely to the roof of the container because enough “header space” must remain above the cargo for the forklift to lift pallets up so they can be removed out of the door. This results in more than 200 cubic feet of wasted space in the average 40-foot container.
Solution: CakeBoxx containers can be filled to the top because there is no need for headroom for forklift operations. This means a 40-foot CakeBoxx has a greater net volume than a 45-foot container.
Problem: When it’s time for containers to be searched by customs or Homeland Security, the single point of entry at the back of a standard container means the entire cargo must be unloaded in order to search the contents. In most terminals there is no secure space for doing this, so containers that require physical searches must be loaded onto trucks and taken to bonded warehouse facilities where the time-consuming act of manually unloading and re-loading takes place. This process can take anywhere from several hours to several days and container search costs can reach more than $5,000 in labor, transportation and bonded storage.
Solution: Easier inspections mean stronger security and speedier transit in terminals. While a CakeBoxx helps keep the bad guys out, anyone who is authorized has easy access. Once the lid is lifted, the contents are completely exposed without needing to move them. No cargo is more than four feet away from an inspector who can verify manifests, scan, sniff, and visually assess the cargo without moving anything. This means physical inspections can be completed in minutes, keeping your CakeBoxx containers moving and easing stress on overcrowded ports.
Costs that Hit Your Budget and the Environment
Problem: Traditional shipping containers require refrigeration equipment to manage the interior environment for their cargos. This equipment has many negative attributes we have simply come to accept over time: it’s expensive, requires energy to operate, takes up additional space that can be used for cargo, and pollutes the air. For non-temperature sensitive cargos, a compelling percentage of doored containers are wasting precious cargo volume on every journey. This wasted space translates into higher ratios of greenhouse gas per ton-mile of cargo.
Solution: CakeBoxx is more environmentally friendly. The FreshBoxx helps cargo stay fresh without chemicals or mechanical refrigeration equipment – and do so for both lower initial and operating costs. Our space-saving ShortBoxx optimizes the shipment of heavy and lengthy cargos that either cannot use a doored container, or waste precious cargo volume or both. This space optimization reduces the Greenhouse gas per ton-mile for the transit, and adds serious revenue opportunity to the carriers that use them.