Until recently, wooden racks were the cheapest and most effective way to increase the load capacity of vehicles in containerised shipment. Racking fitted to the container walls allows vehicles to be raised securely in transit. By taking advantage of both the roof and floor area, the capacity of each container can be doubled. Storage racks made of wood are widely used to achieve this, however innovation in steel racking solutions has created an efficient, safe and economical alternative.
Wood has been widely used in vehicle racking because it’s readily available, affordable and versatile. However, wood is not a uniform material, as each piece has its own flaws and weaknesses. Wood retains some flexibility, which could enable unwanted movement and bowing. Wood is also prone to splintering or even snapping under pressure. The addition of supportive joists can disperse pressure points, but the process of drilling and screwing creates weaker areas. Whilst uncommon, wooden racking poses a minimal potential risk of collapse. Potential damage to vehicles is a consideration.
Wooden Racking Can Only Be Used Once
Due to the high value of the cargo, wooden racking must be constructed and installed by a trained professional. On top of the material costs, each installation takes time and expertise; further increasing the costs associated with containerised methods. At the end of the journey the wooden racks are disassembled and disposed of, usually by burning. Each rack can only be used once as the integrity of the structure has been compromised. The process is time consuming, labour intensive, wasteful and ecologically unsustainable.
Steel has high tensile strength, toughness and is durable. Steel can be engineered into long lasting structures, which won’t degrade. These qualities make steel the ideal material for use in creating reliable stability for vehicles secured within a shipping container. It is for this reason that shipping containers themselves are made out of steel, not wood!
Reusable Steel Racking Increases Your Return On Investment
Trans-Rak have developed an innovate range of reusable steel vehicle racking solutions for shipment containers. The racking is easy to install with minimal expertise, removing the expensive construction and installation costs required for wooden racking. On removal at the destination, the racks collapse into a flat, stackable format for compact storage, ready for re-use. Depending on the type of the racks, between 60 and 200 racks can be shipped back in one 40ft high container, to reduce transportation costs and environmental impact.
For logistics operators, protecting the cargo from risk of theft or damage is a high priority. Human handling errors and accidental damage pose the greatest risks. Load on load off (LOLO) is a far safer alternative to roll on roll off (RORO) shipping, as the cars are securely containerised and unloaded within the containers, rather than being handled at multiple stages of their journey. Increasing the number of vehicles stored in each container reduces costs, but the method must remain risk free.
The R-RAK system has been designed to maximise capacity, reduce workload and remove risk of damage to vehicles. R-RAK can be installed into almost any standard ISO container, ready for positioning of the vehicle. Vehicles are driven onto wheel frames which are then raised and secured, creating space for additional vehicles. Once in position the vehicle requires no further handling until it’s removal on arrival. This considerably minimises the risk of damage. Unlike with wooden racking, steel racking has no rough edges or splinters to scratch the vehicles.
Stability, Safety And Security
Trans-Rak also provide a range of specialised accessories to assist the loading of vehicles, including M-Ramps and chain hoists which can be removed once the racking system has been lifted and secured. The innovative design of our Trans-Rak Grab Chain enables a single chain hoist to lift from two points simultaneously, increasing the stability of the lift. Each of our solutions has been developed to increase efficiency, stability, safety and security. We also provide a range of lashings and webbing straps, designed for securing the wheels, chassis or towing eyes to the rack or container walls. Substantial floor car chocks have been developed to lock the floor car in place. Ensuring vehicles remain secure throughout shipment is our priority.
Investing In The Future
Steel racking systems are a safer, secure alternative to traditional wood racking. Although there is a higher outlay initially, steel racking like R-RAK provides a solid return on investment by removing ongoing material, labour and disposal costs.
Download our e-book The Containerised Car Transport Guide for free information and advice on cost effective, secure methods of automotive shipping.