Korea develops foldable shipping containers
Repositioning empty containers is a huge headache for the shipping industry, as it's expensive and time-consuming.
Korea has developed a solution -- foldable containers that could save the industry a lot of money and hassle.
Park Se-young has the details.
This shipping container folds to a quarter of its original size in less than ten minutes.
It was developed by the state-run Korea Railroad Research Institute to reduce the cost of shipping and storing empty containers.
Not only is it one of the first of its kind, Korea's transport ministry says it's the most efficient and reliable folding container to be developed in the world so far.
Each column was designed to support up to 96 tons of pressure, the same as the strength of standard containers.
And it takes just two people and one piece of equipment to fold or unfold the new container,... whereas previous containers required five to six people and heavy machinery.
The new containers are also competitive price-wise, because even though they would be priced at 20 percent more than standard containers, they would ultimately help reduce shipping and storage costs overall.
"We believe the new containers will cut the cost of distributing empty containers by as much as 75 percent."
Globally, the shipping industry spends about seven-billion U.S. dollars a year to relocate empty containers to where they are needed.
The new containers could lower the cost to about one-point-seven-billion dollars.
The transport ministry plans to support follow-up research and development for successful commercialization of the product by 2019.