Trans-Rak has analysed the interim results of a project currently underway with Loughborough University to test the performance of its patented R-Rak vehicle racking system, and examine the potential for improvement both commercially and environmentally.
The report began by comparing containerisation of cars using R-Raks versus the alternative of cars on deck via Ro-Ro transportation. Having examined every stage of the logistics of moving Semi Knock Down (or almost finished vehicles) from China to Russia in bulk by Ro-Ro and in smaller numbers in containers by overland rail, the case was proven that containerisation can:
- Halve transit time
- Deliver the goods in perfect condition
- Avoid unnecessary costs from damage or delays The second part of the report considered the environmental impact of using steel R-Raks instead of the more traditional wooden racking. A Life Cycle Assessment concluded that:
- Re-usable steel R-Raks were more environmentally sound than single use wooden racking, based on use of materials.
The treatment agent used on wooden racking was more harmful to the environment during application and disposal than many of the processes involved in the manufacture of steel. Commenting on the initial results, Paul Donaldson MD at Trans-Rak International said:
“While we were aware of anecdotal evidence from customers about the benefits of containerisation in terms of faster transit times, reduced damage and cost savings, we welcome independent confirmation of these factors.
“Ratifying Trans-Rak’s environmental performance is also very important to us, particularly as this is becoming an increasingly significant issue for OEMs and accordingly for those providing automotive logistics services throughout the supply chain. Using containers – and therefore re-useable racking – facilitates effective multimodal transportation, which supports a greener supply chain. Anything we can do to further improve this aspect of our products, requires serious consideration.”
Undertaken by mechanical and manufacturing engineering Masters Students studying at Loughborough University, the next stage of the report, relating to possible design improvement recommendations, is expected in 2016.