The patent allows for the horizontal transhipment of containers and swap body between the road and the rail as well as between the rail and rail. The essence of the solution lies in the three ways of a short vertical stroke of the intermodal loading units above the truck or wagon and its subsequent horizontal handling.
The patented horizontal transshipment system raises the container only to a height of approximately 15 cm and allows for a complete container block train (44 containers) to be transshipment within about 20 minutes, which is 6 times faster than with two gantry cranes. Which means that a solution with capital costs of approximately 20 million EUR is sufficient to translate 240,000 containers per year, which means a saving of approximately 250% capital costs, which is also reflected in the cost of transhipping one container, which would be about 10 EUR.
The outcome is a system, exhibiting following features:
- Requires no adjustments of both rail and road vehicles
- Enables transhipments under the traction power line
- Enables transhipment of containers and swap bodies of all sizes and weights
- Enables construction of intermodal terminals of wide range of capacity from a single wagon up to full-length block train with appropriate investment and operation costs
- Enables automatization of transhipments, while all cargo units and loaded and unloaded to/from train simultaneously, so that the duration of transhipment is reduced substantially
- Enables loading and unloading of cargo units at the terminal by the driver of the road vehicle
Currently, for the transhipment of containers is using only vertical transhipment method (reachstackers and gantry cranes). Reachstackers have relatively low capital costs but have high operating costs. Gantry cranes have high capital costs and lower operating costs.
The transhipment time is limited by the fact that each container has to be raised to a height (sometimes even 10 m) and must be transhipment one by one. The total transhipment time for block train (44 containers) is about 2 hours.
The capital costs for the construction of an intermodal terminal are approximately 25 mil. EUR, with the largest cost item being the purchase of portal cranes (2 gantry cranes approximately EUR 9 million). The total cost of transshipment of 1 container is about EUR 30-50, while the technical solution with two gantry cranes allows for the transhipment of about 120,000 containers per year.
In order to double the capacity, it is necessary to build the same mirror terminal. So, for the need to transshipment 240,000 containers, the capital cost is already 50 million EUR.