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Intelligent MegaSwapBoxes for Advanced Intermodal Freight Transport

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A cargo box for multimodal transport

Researchers developed a new all-purpose loading unit that can be used in road, train and maritime freight transport.

Climate Change and Environment

Freight transport will have to become more efficient in the future due to mounting economic and environmental pressures. One way to increase the flexibility of transport is to make it easier to switch between transport modes. This will enable operators to profit from the most efficient transport option at any point in a logistics chain. An EU-funded research project, 'Intelligent megaswapboxes for advanced intermodal freight transport' (TELLIBOX), developed a new concept for a cargo container that could be used in different transport modes and thus facilitate intermodal transport. Research institutes, manufacturers and logistics companies collaborated to design the MegaSwapBox, a container suitable for road, rail, inland and short sea shipping. With a cargo capacity of 100 cubic metres, the unit is competitive with current megatrailers used in freight transport. Its dimensions are also comparable, with an internal height of three metres without exceeding the overall permitted height of four metres for the box plus chassis. Other features of the MegaSwapBox are a liftable roof, three openable sides, stackability and solid sidewalls that offer high theft protection. The team tested prototypes and optimised their design on a defined intermodal corridor from Poland, via Germany and the Netherlands, to the United Kingdom using rail, train, road and short sea shipping. The TELLIBOX concept is ready to be put into wider use and the project also created a strategy to exploit the innovative technologies and maximise uptake. Project results should help lead a shift in freight transport, with Europeans benefiting from more sustainable intermodal transport solutions.

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