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  • Writer's pictureVegard Synnes

The Secret to Efficient Loading of Cars in Containers

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

We are often met with skepticism when we claim that our system loads up to 6 containers in only 15 minutes. Anyone involved in the field of vehicle containerization can attest to the high workload and attention to detail required when loading and securing vehicles inside a container; a process that in many situations can take up to several hours.

In this post we explore the concept and functionality behind the Kar-Tainer Cassette Systems. This in order to see exactly what it is that enable operators using our system to load cars in containers with such a high level of efficiency; figuring out how we are able to load up to six containers in only 15 minutes, whereas alternative solutions need at least four times as long to do the same job.

The Cassette Based Solution

Cassette based solution

At the core of Kar-Tainer's concept is our proprietary technology: the cassette-based loading system. Developed over the years through trial and error, having tested out several different loading methodologies, we ended up on this solution. The concept: the single unit- external loaded- cassette system. This is implemented in all solutions we offer today, from CBU and SKD vehicles to Motorbikes and other rolling stock loaded in containers. The cassette is self-supported, each vehicle is loaded on an individual cassette. This cassette is prepared on the ground, either in a yard or inside a warehouse; vehicle is secured onto the cassette before both cassette and vehicle is inserted into container with the help of a forklift.

Containerized vehicle operations have three key factors and related processes to consider:

  1. The Vehicle; vehicle handling and loading

  2. The Loading Equipment; equipment management and preparation

  3. The Container; container handling and loading

1. The Vehiclcle 2. The Loading Equipment 3. The Container

Traditional loading methods often rely on wooden constructs, simple steel constructions or other devices attached inside container. In such scenarios all three factors (the vehicle, the loading equipment, and the container) are interdependent on eachother; you cannot prepare the loading equipment or the vehicle before container arrives. Thus, all processes are tied up to each other.

Loading a vehicle in container three steps process

The Kar-Tainer concept on the other hand breaks these factors into three distinct processes: Equipment build-up, vehicle loading, and container loading. First the equipment is built up on the ground, this process is usually carried out by two operators who simply slots all legs and crossbars into place before lifting the rampways onto the cassette. A process taking mere minutes. After this the vehicle is pre-staged on the cassette, a process involving driving the vehicle onto the rampways before lashing all tires securely to the cassette. Everything up till this point can be done before the container arrives, and are all processes that can be easily controlled internally at loading compound, without depending on external conditions such as container and truck availability, road congestion, truck waiting times, among others. From a pre-staged mode, the vehicle can be loaded directly into container upon availability. This is done with the use of a forklift which lifts the cassette with loaded vehicle and inserts it into container one cassette at a time. The container loading can be done either with container still on truck chassis, at loading dock, or with container on the ground.

This loading methodology is aimed at servicing high volume loading operations of cars in containers. It accommodates for loading of over hundred cars daily with a lightly staffed loading crew and can easily be scaled far beyond with utilization of additional space and manpower. The cassettes are specced according to the model(s) that are loaded, something that further enhances speed of loading and reduces room for human error. Where multiple models are loaded, the height and position of rampways can be changed to accommodate for the different vehicle dimensions.

Additional Cost Efficiencies

The operational efficiencies achieved through the loading methodology behind the Kar-Tainer concept translates into direct cost savings for the loading operator:

  • The low requirements for advanced loading facilities expands the scope of facilities to choose from. In it's most crude form, the only thing really necessary to load cars in containers with the Kar-Tainer system is a flat paved area and a forklift.

  • The seamless processes reduces demand for manpower.

  • Not being dependent on having the truck and container sitting idle at compound throughout the loading operation eliminates potential truck waiting fees.

  • Being able to load directly in container mounted on chassis removes any container handling charges potentially arising.

  • The high degree of vehicle safety during loading and transport further results in lower supply chain cost to the cargo owner as recalls and downstream maintenance are close to eliminated. More on this in a coming post on the safety aspects provided by the Kar-Tainer System.

The Kar-Tainer solution for containerized vehicle operations have been developed over close to 30 years, a development journey which has led to the most efficient and safe manner of loading cars in containers available in the industry. If you have interest in learning more about our method of loading cars in container, or have interest in looking at how we can help you optimize your containerized car loading operations and transports, get in touch with your closest Kar-Tainer representative or reach out to us through the website contact forms.

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