Kris Subramanian, a Senior Project Manager at Infosys Technologies focused on Retail, Consumer Product Goods & Logistics mentioned Staxxon’s patented Vertical Folding Container technology in a recent post. Thanks Kris! A colleague at Infosys, Ashutosh Tiwari, had written about the concept of a Virtual Container Yard as a possible solution for rationalizing empty container logistics.

The Virtual Container Yard concept put forth by Tiwari – basically enabling empty container swaps between shippers to avoid empty repositioning costs – inspired Subramanian to mention the Staxxon VFC solution as a way to improve empty container logistics. Subramanian mentioned three issues that container fleet owner/operators would need to consider before adopting Staxxon’s VFC solution. These issues are listed below with our responses.

  • Issue 1: ROI- Break-even point for Container retrofitting costs to enable vertical folding. Staxxon estimates the current retrofitting costs to be about $2500.
  • Response: There are some situations where retrofits will make economic sense. Generally these will involve newer containers that transit “closed” routes where there is a 100% imbalance on one end of the lane and a nearby certified retrofit facility. There are other situations where new container construction with integrated VFC technology will make more sense. New construction is much less expensive than retrofitting. Staxxon’s 100% ROI target for customers is 18-24 months based primarily on operational savings from reduced terminal “touch” transactions.
  • Issue 2: Folding Labor Costs – Additional cost/time spent on folding/unfolding at the container depots. Currently Staxxon claims folding time of not more than 10 mins.
  • Response: Unlike some of our competitors, we measure the time involved to prepare for folding and nesting each container as well as the actual time spent folding a container. From a safety and best practices perspective, we’ll continue to work on reducing the overall folding/nesting time as long as safety is not compromised.
  • Issue 3: Safety During Folding – Safety considerations while ganging up (nesting) the folded containers.
  • Response: Safety is our #1 concern at Staxxon. We have one of our prototypes undergoing CSC (Convention for Safe Containers) evaulation in a few weeks. We’ll apply what we learn from CSC testing to our future prototypes and products. 
The team at Staxxon really likes Subramanian’s description of Staxxon’s VFC technology as not representing “out of the box” thinking but “within the box” adaptive design and engineering.