VRR will be launching the world’s first fully certified collapsible AAY container at the Inter Airport Europe 2019 in Munich – and there will be more foldable container-types to come in 2020.
With the ever-growing imbalance in world trade lanes due to increased traffic and the rise of e-commerce, airfreight operators are often faced with the problem of returning empty ULDs –
especially when it comes to larger main-deck containers. Compared to their lower-deck equivalents, main-deck ULDs are around four to five times larger, and their storage or repositioning is far
more costly and challenging.
The Dutch company VRR, who have developing and producing innovative ULD solutions since 1946, will be launching their fully certified collapsible main deck container for B737F and B757F at the Inter Airport Europe in Munich, which runs from 08-11 OCT 19.
“The collapsible AAY container is the answer to the global imbalance in main deck containers,” claims Geert van Riemsdijk, Managing Director of VRR. “The digitization of container fleets is giving fleet managers much better insight into container utilization and revealing all sorts of repositioning issues. Incorporating the collapsible AAY into a container fleet will produce significant cost savings.”
VRR video demonstrating a collapsible container. Source: VRR
Folding sides and shrinking costs
The design process was based on the parameters of keeping the container weight down and ensuring simple handling and container durability. The result is a container weighing around 280kg (617lbs), which can be erected and collapsed by two people in just two minutes. In its collapsed state, the container is just 255mm (10”) high, and a seventh of its original size. Six folded units can be stacked for warehouse storage or lower-deck transportation in a wide-body aircraft. Pallet-stacks of 4 units fit in to a B737F main deck.
It goes without saying that the flexibility offered by VRR’s collapsible solution not only saves on storage and repositioning costs, but also goes a long way to decreasing the environmental impact of flying back empty ULDs.
Not the first idea, but VRR has produced the first fully certified result
There have been a number of registered patents for collapsible ULD ideas – going back to 1988 (and since expired), and other companies have been developing concepts. Avdome Aviation Inc. located in Georgia, USA and Dookang Air Solutions, Seoul, S. Korea were looking at producing a collapsible LD3 back in 2013 already and were still awaiting FAA certification in 2016. Korea developed a collapsible 20’ shipping container in 2017 which also only requires 2 people to reduce it to a quarter of its size in just 10 minutes and were looking to go commercial with it this year – with a global potential of cutting transfer costs by up to 75%.
With the ever-present focus on cost-reduction and the ever-increasing focus on environmental impact, no doubt other companies will soon be following suit. For now, VRR is the global innovation leader it prides itself in being.
Up, up and awaAAY!
The AAY container can be ordered from Q4 2019 on, and VRR will be developing other collapsible container sizes in 2020. More information is available on www.vrr.aero – or head over to the Inter Airport Europe in Munich and see it for yourself.
Footnote: We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.