Maersk moving cars by container
In a development that could have important implications if it catches on, Maersk Logistics is now shipping Lotus automobiles from England to the United States in containers using a racking system called Trans-Rak.
Maersk is carrying the cars on its regular Felixstowe/Charleston transatlantic service.
Lotus Elise cars are loaded in the U.K. manufacturing plant in Norwich then taken by ship to Charleston and trucked to International Auto Processing in Brunswick, Ga.
Using two Trans-Rak frames fixed inside the container, five Lotus vehicles fit into a single 40-foot high-cube box.
Trans-Rak notes that after being loaded and lashed in the container at the Lotus factory in Norwich, the cars are not handled again until they are discharged from the container at the processing center.
“This door-to-door system eliminates the possibility of damage caused by unfamiliar ro/ro stevedores driving them on and off vessels, or by weather and bird-lime,” Trans-Rak said.
Trans-Rak said Maersk Logistics has invested in a fleet of 200 Trans-Rak units in the past year.
The five cars can be discharged from the container in as little as 25 minutes, Trans-Rak said.
The racks on which the cars are suspended can be wound down, using a handheld electric drill. After unloading, the racks can be retracted to the top of the container, so that it is ready to load general cargo.