Exploring Mechanized Electric Solutions for Container Transport

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

Answering YES to the question today is Tim Brankin, Vice President Business Development and Communications at Eagle Rail. Tim and I spoke about the latest developments in global shipping, the growth in container shipping, its impact on ports, congestion in and around ports, and what to do about it. We also discussed optimising and decarbonising first-mile transportation in port areas.

Global Trade Continues to Grow

90% of goods transported globally are in shipping containers, and global trade keeps growing. Recent research by McKinsey has found that the number of containers has been increasing manually by 3-5% for the last 50 years. This trend is expected to continue in the years to come. While companies are nearshoring more and moving production away from China, this doesn’t lower the need for containers.

Ships Continue to Grow

If the number of containers grows, the number of ships needed to transport these containers also grows. Shipping companies have been ordering larger and larger ships to keep up with the growth and to drive the cost of shipping containers down. The largest ships currently carry over 24,000 containers. While this is great for shipping companies, it often creates problems in ports, where thousands of containers get offloaded at once. These containers need to be transported inland. Especially for ports with bad rail connections, thousands of trucks must pick them up.

Congestion Continues to Grow

The growth in global trade is not only causing an increase in the number of containers. The same goes for the number of trucks. Trucks increase the pressure on road systems, especially those in and around port areas, causing congestion. To minimize congestion in port areas, it would be better to transport containers to container yards further inland using other systems than trucks.

If you want to learn how mechanized electric solutions can alleviate the pressure on busy road systems or transport containers across terrain where trucks can’t drive, listen to my conversation with Tim via the player below or wherever you get your podcasts. 👇

Listen on Google Podcast 150
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This episode was supported by Eagle Rail

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