Solution for logistics service buyers

Case: trader needs to use a container twice a week = 100 times / year for transporting their goods for customers.

But are they paying 100 times too much?

If you are a CEO think of this: your company has container logistics needs, and everything is running quite smoothly. Your Logistics Manager will tell you everything is under control. You pay your transport company for container handling and they take care of everything.

Quite.

What if you’re paying 10 times too much per year? You may even pay 100 times too much. Do you want to divide or multiply your costs?

Have a look at these figures.

* Transport cost, chassis and sideloader prices are country specific case material

So you can use different types of shipping container handling equipments, but do you want to pay extra when you can do it way more simplier.

Have a look how you can load/unload a container at a loading bay and if you need an extra storage space: what can be stored in shipping containers?

New with shipping containers? Learn from here about different types of containers.

Instructions to reverse the truck and/or chassis under the container

Great care must be taken when reversing a chassis under a mounted container, the chassis must not come into contact with any of the CF-legs.
Ensure that the truck and chassis are straight and positioned correctly before reversing.

1) Container standing on the CF legs (note: 150 mm free space between the leg and corner casting per side)

2) Place the truck (chassis) so that it is on parallel line with the corner castings. Prior to approaching the container, lower the vehicle and chassis suspension to its lowest position.

3) The chassis should be reversed lengthways in a straight line under the mounted container, until the chassis twist locks line up with the relevant corner castings. The truck and chassis must not come into contact with the CF-legs.

4) Once in place, raise the truck and/or chassis suspension to its highest position. Remove the CF legs. Secure the container to the chassis with the twist locks for transport. The truck and chassis can now be driven away, exercising due caution.

truck with chassis reversing
truck reversing under container

Best way to load/unload a container at a loading bay

Loading bay unloading with ConFoot

See how Finnish company Framery saves money by using ConFoot legs in their loading bay

Case history

The original CF set produced by ConFoot is an ensemble of four lightweight and low-cost shipping container legs. They are able to support a container weighing up to 30 tons and allow a single operator to easily remove it from a truck chassis. The original design allowed the set to be practical for a range of uses by logistics centres, forwarding companies and even the armed services.

Soon, however, some users gave feedback suggesting that legs were difficult to use with a loading bay or pocket. The original CF  design restricts the doors from being opened fully (270 degrees) and can restrict the use of a pocket. ConFoot responded to these requests by producing the CFP set, specifically designed for use in a loading bay.

How could CFP legs save you money and time?

Unloading and/or loading a shipping container can take a substantial amount of time. Small retailers often require the container to be left overnight. With the use of CFP legs, a driver can leave the container standing at the loading bay, but drive his truck and chassis away. This opens up a wide range of new opportunities to increase productivity and reduce costs for drivers, but also for those utilising the container. Containers can be left at loading bays for extended periods of time, allow for more efficient loading/unloading methods. For example car part manufacturers adding pieces in the correct order that they need to be removed at the other end.

Replacing the original ‘Y’ shaped, pronged feet of the CF model, CFP legs have an ‘L’ shaped base allowing the container to be placed flat against a loading bay. This allows a container to be left standing whilst it is being loaded or unloaded, freeing up a driver to use their truck and chassis elsewhere.

The altered design of the clamping mechanism means that the container doors can be folded fully back. Thus enabling a pocket to be easily fitted whilst the container is mounted on the set. It also allows the container to be left in tighter bays, as space for the doors either side of the container in is not required.

The set is comprised of two CFP legs at the front (door side) of the container and two original CF legs at the rear.  The CF legs are placed at the rear in order to provide extra stability from their innovative magnetic clamp design. The CFP legs retain the same lightweight nature (only 24 kg) as the CF legs meaning that all four legs can be easily installed by just one person.

Once the container has been secured to a loading bay and is standing on the ConFoot legs, a forklift can be driven straight on to load or unload goods. The maximum weight capacity which can be supported by the legs is 30 tons, supporting the vast majority of loads.

Interested in how the CFP set could save you money in you logistics? Ask for more details here, we will be happy to provide you with further information. In order to see the other products that ConFoot offers, please click here.

 

What can be stored in shipping containers?

ConFoot shipping container storage

As well as being a highly popular method for transporting goods and materials by sea, road and rail, shipping containers can also be used as storage facilities. Containers are mobile, cost-effective and easy to install allowing them to be a great long term storage solution or just a temporary fix. From machinery to vehicles, we have listed some examples of what can be stored and considerations that should be taken.

Fresh produce

Refrigerated containers are ideal for storing fresh produce such as meat, dairy, seafood and vegetables. Such containers need a connection to a power supply but then can typically maintain temperatures between -25 and +25 degrees celsius. They should be set to the intended temperature between 24 and 48 hours before placing any goods inside. Also, only items requiring the same conditions should be loaded into the same container. For example, certain vegetables should be stored at different temperatures.  Keep in mind that if you are using such containers for shipping produce, rather than storage, a CSC certificate will be required.

Grow fresh food like mushrooms, berries...

Freightfarms and Finnish inventors like Helsieni and Ekofarmer are good examples of "thinking out of the box" and inside the container. 

Motor vehicles

Container vehicle storage

Containers can act as a fantastic, cheaper alternative to a garage. Cars, boats, jet skis or any other vehicle within a certain size can be stored. Containers are able to protect vehicles from the elements, minimising rust and general degradation over time. They can also be secured by a number of locking methods, helping to protect vehicles from theft. As a rough estimate, a 20ft container is an equivalent size to one parking space, therefore a 40ft container can store two cars. Check out our shipping container dimensions guide to find out if your vehicle could fit.

Furniture

Containers are highly popular for storing furniture or other household items, by either small retailers or private persons. When storing furniture, particular care should be taken over condensation. Especially in areas where the is a large fluctuation between day and night temperatures, condensation may occur in the interior of a container. This can be avoided by installing a ventilation system through a number of different methods.

Chemicals and pressurised gasses

Confoot container

Many companies choose to store chemicals, gasses and other hazardous material in shipping containers. As the containers can be well secured and are not flammable, they often provide a safe environment. For each substance, the relevant laws and regulations should be checked on storage requirements, and keep in mind that some chemicals should, under no circumstances, be kept in an enclosed space.

Power tools

Containers can act as a tool shed, providing a perfect environment for storing power tools and machinery. Such tools are frequently targeted by thieves, so securing them in a container can help to prevent losses. Racks and shelving can be built into a container to support tools if the container is to be used for this purpose for an extended period of time.

ConFoot legs

ConFoot shipping container

When it comes to storing a shipping container itself, ConFoot legs are a great solution. Containers can be left on ConFoot legs for indefinite periods of time. They also provide an effective, inexpensive and quick method for a single person to remove or load a container onto the back of a truck for transportation. For more information on ConFoot products, please click here.

How cold are reefer containers?

refrigerated shipping container

Reefer containers, a.k.a refrigerated containers, are a perfect solution for transporting cargo which must be kept at a specific temperature. They are not just for keeping goods cold, as they can maintain temperatures in a range both below and above zero.  Here we take a closer look at how far their impressive range of practicality can actually stretch. 

reefer temperature

Going against a common misconception, reefer containers are actually able to keep cargo warm as well as cold. In general they can maintain temperatures within the range of -65˚C to 40˚C, depending on the model and manufacturer. Common models can attain a smaller range (-25˚C to + 25˚C). This makes them suitable for a wide range of temperature sensitive cargo, from fresh produce to hazardous chemicals and more.

The introduction of refrigerated containers has affected the global consumer market considerably. Perishable goods can be transported on long distances via rail, road or ship, allowing for countries to have access to fresh produce all year round, no matter the conditions of their local climate. 

Although the actual temperature regulation unit is self contained in reefer containers, for the majority of the time they require access to power. On land based sites and container vessels, electrical outlets known as reefer points are common place. When access to a reefer point is not available, diesel powered generators can be employed to keep power supplied over long distances.

Standard refrigeration units function by ventilating warm air away from the container (or feeding it in). They distribute cold air from the bottom up, via a customised 'T'-shaped decking. When the area in which the container is stored in doesn't have flowing air around it, for example in the hold of a ship, water cooling systems can also be used to cool the air being excreted. They are however expensive and their use is declining in the global freight industry. 

As with any mechanical object, reefer containers can sometimes fail. As well as being a potential for wastage of large loads of fresh produce through spoiling, it could also be particularly dangerous. Selected chemicals become volatile at certain temperatures, therefore it imperative to keep them at a steady temperature.

In order to minimise this risk, some shipping containers are fitted with redundant refrigeration systems. This is where reefers are fitted with back up refrigeration units to kick in should the primary one malfunction, as well as generators should the power become disconnected.

Reefers tend to come in either 20 foot or 40 foot variations. The insulation installed around the container walls makes their internal dimensions marginaly smaller than standard ISO container dimensions (which can be seen here). The insulation is effective in temporarily restricting temperature fluctuations, so non functioning reefers can still be put to use. It is possible to by used reefer containers, making them even more cost effective for large and small companies alike.

It is worth keeping in mind that Reefers are not designed to chill cargo. More so, they are designed to maintain its temperature. Therefore, cargo which must be kept cold should be pre chilled before being loaded into a refrigerated container.

refrigerated container confoot

Mounting a reefer on ConFoot legs only extends its practicality further. ConFoot shipping container legs can support a reefer weighing up to 30 tonnes for an indefinite period of time. They also act as a low-cost and lightweight method to remove and replace a container on a truck chassis. This combination creates a cost effective, industrial scale refrigerator, with many use possibilities for markets, supermarkets, restaurants and food distributors. To find more information about ConFoot legs click here to go the main site. Also, if you are interested in other variations of the standard shipping container, check out our guide to the different types of containers.

ConFoot 2018: the best year ever

Growth in several key areas was the theme of 2018 for ConFoot.
From a good start to the year, the pace was kept up throughout all four quarters.
Below you’ll find some highlights from along the way.

Record sales

2018 saw the highest sales for ConFoot products ever, and the double-digit growth is expected to continue on 2019.
We experienced plenty of new interest from a very varied field of industries, with agriculture and sustainable energy solutions especially picking up.
Manufacturers have adopted ConFoot legs as core elements in their operations, and the reason can be found in this very telling testimonial https://youtu.be/3V_x13X–68

Distributors

Great distributors are at the heart of ConFoot’s continuing success, and our existing network has come through once again in ensuring that 2018 was the best year so far for ConFoot.
In 2018 we made several additions to our distributor network, with the latest being Ebona d.o.o. with representation in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, and Suomen Vuokrakontti Oy with representation in Finland.
We thank them and all the others for their hard work in 2018, and are very much looking forward to collaboration and shared success in 2019!

The new ConFoot CFW prototype at Intermodal Europe

Intermodal Europe is the main trade show every year for ConFoot.

This year the event was held in Rotterdam, and we had the pleasure of meeting many old  acquaintances, collaborators and clients, as well as meeting for the first time plenty of representatives from a number of companies from all over the globe.

This year we had the added pleasure of presenting for the first time the prototype of the ConFoot CFW weighing leg, which will provide a cost-efficient, portable solution to the updated SOLAS requirements.
Both the reception and the feedback for the prototype were great, and we’re looking forward to bringing ConFoot CFW to market in the latter half of 2019.

With steadily increasing sales, growing distributor network and expanding product portfolio, we all at ConFoot are ready to face 2019, confident that in a year’s time we can present our next ‘year in review’ report with the same headline as now: the best year ever.

How long do shipping containers last? The average lifespan?

shipping containers last lifespan how long

Shipping containers have become the undisputable king of modern intermodal logistics. A driving factor behind the surge in popularity since the 1950s has been their impressive durability. The steel structures have been designed from the ground up to protect goods from the harsh conditions of long-distance transportation. However, they are inevitably not invincible. All shipping containers last a certain amount of time before they are deemed no longer useful. This lifespan varies greatly and is determined by a number of factors.

Who you ask

Containers have different lifespans to different people. Container leasing companies tend to depreciate their containers over a period of 10-12 years before they take them out of service. The general consensus for containers not in heavy use (i.e. for storage facilities) is that they can last between 25 and 30 years without any maintenance. However, homeowners who use containers which are well treated and cladded for use in construction will tell you that they can last well over 50 years. Also just because a container is deemed not seaworthy by a shipping conglomerate, does not mean that it is not still useful for a private owner with simpler requirements.

shipping containers last lifespan how long

Where it is used

As with any metal construction, a containers lifespan can be cut short by rust. Rust is exacerbated by moisture and seawater. Therefore, sea spray and wet climates will greatly affect how long shipping containers last. Efforts can be made to protect a container from adverse conditions, but no known method can make a container completely impervious to mother nature.

Is it damaged?

If you are purchasing a used (or new for that matter) container, be sure to inspect it thoroughly. Any cracks in paint coatings, or dents in the exterior shell, can encourage the onset of rust and significantly reduce the lifespan of the container.

shipping containers last lifespan how long

How to make shipping containers last longer

The best way to extend the lifespan of a container is to minimize its exposure to moisture. Clearly, this is not the most practical of solutions for a vessel designed to transport goods over oceans. That aside, all efforts should be made to minimize the chance of a container rusting. We have a handy guide on steps you can take to minimize pesky oxidation which you can read by clicking here.

Other methods of minimizing moisture contact include; reducing the amount of what is known as 'container rain' (internal condensation) and storing a container off the ground. 'Container rain' can be reduced by being selective with what you store in a container. To read more and get further information, check out our container condensation guide here.

Shipping container condesation

Storing a container off the ground stops the base of the container being in constant with the damp ground and helps it to avoid any flowing groundwater during periods of precipitation. This can slow the deterioration of the container floor. An easy and cost-effective way to store a container raised off the ground can be by using ConFoot legs. ConFoot are lightweight steel supports which can be used to support a container weighing up to 30 tonnes, for as long as needs be. Find out more about the ConFoot solution to container handling here

 

 

How long can a shipping container be left on ConFoot legs?

As long as needs be, perfect for long term and short term shipping container storage alike.

So as long as your container lasts, ConFoot legs will carry them.

Want to know more? Send us a message!