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DSM’s lightweight container makes transport more efficient

Schaffhausen, CH, 27 Nov 2012 12:00 CET

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, today presented a new lightweight transport container at the Intermodal Europe 2012 tradeshow in Amsterdam that could lead to considerable cost savings and increased efficiency in the transport sector. The new HighQ™ container has been developed by DSM in cooperation with multimodal transporter Samskip.

The global logistics market utilizes containers for a wide range of transport modes, including sea transport, inland shipping and transport via road and rail. In 2011, the container equipment fleet grew by 8.5%, taking the global container fleet to over 31 million TEU*¹. The new HighQ container aims to be 20% lighter than its steel counterparts. The weight reduction is achieved thanks to composite panels that replace the commonly used corrugated steel. At the Intermodal show in Amsterdam DSM presented a 45 ft pallet-wide high cube prototype which was certified by Lloyd’s and field-tested in a real-world situation by Samskip for more than a year.

A key advantage of the new container is cost-efficiency. The lower tare weight in combination with an aerodynamic design leads to significant fuel savings during transport when transporting the same load as a steel container. Conversely, when used in transport modes where weight limitations apply, like rail and road, the lower weight of the container can also be turned into a payload increase.

The flat sides make it easier to load and unload. They are easier to clean and attract less dirt. Innovative high-impact corners protect the roof during container handling. This gives HighQ containers a longer lifetime and better protects the cargo. DSM anticipates that the new HighQ container will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of intermodal transport.

This container is a true example of DSM using its innovative power to drive sustainability in our society,” says Theo Jongeling, HighQ containers Business Manager at DSM. “The use of composite technology reduces the impact on the environment even during the manufacturing stage and continues to do this during the entire time that the container is operational. This solution is good for the environment and our customers’ business at the same time!”

We firmly believe in this lightweight container that we have thoroughly tested under the most severe situations,” says Diederick Blom, Chief Operating Officer at Samskip Multimodal. “We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work in such close cooperation with DSM by sharing our industry knowledge and ideas and we look forward to welcoming the first series in our fleet next year.”

DSM has filed several patents on the innovations used. DSM is working with industrial partners to develop the supply chain of the new HighQ containers.

SAMSKIP – Together We Make Things Happen

Samskip Multimodal operates one of Europe's largest multimodal container logistics systems. The Samskip system is able to move containers door-to-door between over 30 countries from Russia, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Finland and Iceland in the north or the United Kingdom and Ireland in the west to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south and center of Europe.

Samskip offers a wide range of routing options, utilizing road, rail, sea and inland waterways, as appropriate, to provide the best combination of rate and transit time to suit individual customers' requirements and preferences. With a 2011 group turnover of €536 million, Samskip has at its disposal over 13,000 containers, ranging from 20 ft to 45 ft pallet-wide high cube containers including reefers, curtain-siders and flat-racks.

* source: Drewry Maritime Research, “Annual Container Census – 2012 Report”, August 2012;
1 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) equals the transport capacity of one twenty-foot container