Warwick University researchers have developed software that figures out how to fit the maximum number of cars into a shipping container.
The researchers say the system, which uses a new car racking technology, could save the global car industry a lot of money as it can increase the number of cars that can be squeezed into one container from the current two to four.
The user will provide input into the software about what makes and models of cars are to be transported and the program then calculates the optimum combination and positioning to maximise the capacity.
“The solution has totally transformed the manual-based processes previously used for establishing the optimal placement of a set of cars,” said Piero Filippin, Innovation Manager at the University of Warwick, who developed the new system together with container technology manufacturer Trans-Rak International (TRI).
“The new software-inspired system allows specific vehicles to be selected from a comprehensive list, meaning a quicker view can be gained in relation to vehicle configuration.”
The car racking system by TRI comprises of removable metal components that come together to form a variable-dimension frame, with which cars can be lifted up inside a container, allowing other cars to be positioned efficiently underneath the lifted cars.
The system considers every possible position allowed by the flexible racking system and takes into account hundreds of thousands of different loading scenarios. The user receives a report outlining the most efficient combination of cars in each container, as well as their exact positioning and how to best put them in.
“The software developed by Piero Filippin will enable users to deploy our equipment more efficiently, further reducing the number of containers that need to be moved for a given number of vehicles," said Paul Donaldson, Managing Director of Trans-Rak International.
This way, the system could contribute to cutting carbon emissions as fewer vehicles would be needed to transport the cars.