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Published: 24 April 2012      

Staxxon folding box approved

New Jersey-based Staxxon LLC has received a Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) Certificate for its innovative folding ISO container design.

The certificate, issued by Marine Container Equipment Certification Corp, an authorised approval authority of the United States Coast Guard, means that Staxxon’s patented folding/nesting steel container can be safely loaded and moved with commodity weights and volumes that are typical for 20ft ISO containers used for global ocean, rail and truck transport.

The Staxxon 20ft design was approved for a maximum gross weight of 24,000 kg with a maximum load of 20,824 kg. Stacking ratings are 86,400 kg on the corner post and 192,000 kg in total at up to eight high. Floor strength is rated at 7,257 kg and gross interior capacity is 32.536 m3.

Unlike other folding containers that collapse horizontally, the Staxxon design folds concertina-style from right to left in the vertical position, allowing up to five folded units to be interconnected and handled as a single ISO-sized module for empty repositioning purposes.

The unique variable folding and nesting capability of the Staxxon design allows for the nesting of 2, 3, 4 or 5 empty containers whilst always maintaining ISO dimensional requirements.

According to head of marketing Tom Stitt, vertical folding means that the Staxxon design is able to retain most of the structural elements of a standard box, with no sidewall hinges or disconnection from the top and bottom rails. This results in better structural integrity, especially in terms of longitudinal and transverse racking.

It also preserves as much interior cube as possible, which is particularly important for a 40ft Staxxon design, which is at the planning stage.

To date, eight prototype 20ft units have been built by local fabricators close to Staxxon’s R&D centre in Dayton, Ohio. A further five units are under construction for field tests in June. The initial target market is high velocity shortsea and feeder trades, where imbalances are acute.

Stitt said the company is planning to conduct trials at a container terminal in July, followed by non-commercial shortsea tests in October and commercial trials in the second half of 2013.

Staxxon does not intend to manufacture the folding containers itself. Rather it is aiming to license the technology and is offering a “flexible” business model that “allows customers and partners to retain existing container manufacturing, leasing, fleet management, maintenance and repair relationships”.

Stitt added that 90% of the Staxxon container is based on standard kits available from numerous Chinese suppliers. Around 5% of parts require modification and 5%, primarily related to the hinge mechanisms, are proprietary, for which Staxxon is prepared to assist with tooling.

The company estimates that the cost of a 20ft Staxxon unit should be around 130% of that of a standard container, which should be rapidly recovered as a result of reduced empty handling and repositioning costs.

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