Heading in the Right Direction

In yesterday’s commentary we noted that, “Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) announced that its container shipping arm, APL, will begin phasing out its US fleet of container chassis, the skeletal truck trailers used to haul shipping containers over the road. The shipping line said it will turn its fleet over to organizations that specialize in providing chassis to drayage companies. ‘This is the direction the container shipping industry is moving,’ a company official said.”

And this is the “direction” we’ve been writing about for the last half-dozen years or so. In touting our patented container yard system we cited the pollution caused by idling trucks waiting in and around today’s conventionally-structured terminals. The general health of residents in surrounding communities have become a serious and ongoing concern and gave us occasion to describe how our container yard design would eliminate the waiting, the idling, and the excessive fuel consumption that have been the cause of that deadly pollution.

Because our space-saving systems free up large amounts of acreage, a portion of that land would be used to set up in-house, programmed delivery operations. No gates would be required because of this innovation, and therefore there would be no waiting, idling and polluting trucks. All delivery trucks would be stationed within the terminals and each truck would be started up only when it is designated to be the next delivery vehicle. All other trucks would be at rest, and unmanned, because deliveries would be scheduled and programmed days in advance.

Several hundred thousand trucks and drivers would be available nation-wide for these in-house, programmed and pollution-free delivery operations, and when our systems are finally in place today’s struggling drivers will become tomorrow’s generously-compensated drivers. A delivery system such as the one made possible by our patented terminal design cannot be installed in conventionally-structured terminals because of congestion, near chaos, and the fact that all available acreage has been utilized.

Now that the container shipping industry is losing its shirt – let’s be honest about that – officials are beginning to jettison those links in their chain of operations that are hurting them the most. They have yet to figure out how to stop the bleeding, but if they’d open their eyes – and open their minds – they’d see that our system would be the solution to all their woes.

These are the same folks, by the way, who are trying to convince us that “slow-steaming” in 25-knot vessels is a good idea. And they say it with straight faces.

One of these days, however, NOL or some other carrier, will become desperate enough to approach us and seek assistance. There will be no other way for them to stay in business. The inevitable results of such a move will generate higher profits for carriers and lower costs for consumers. That will be a banner day for the industry, and that same NOL official could then say;

“I told you so. This is the direction the container shipping industry is moving”.